On Friday, Politico released a story claiming that Herman Cain settled two sexual harassment complaints while he served at the National Restaurant Association. The weekend news cycle has been furiously pursuing this story. I'm dubious about the story, myself- it's probably political mudslinging at its finest.
The harassment claim has, however, overshadowed a much more damning story: Herman Cain demonstrated abysmally bad judgment by hiring a petty thug as his personal bodyguard.
Meet Kris Herzog: Bodyguard, twice-convicted criminal, and possible extortionist.
In 2009, Herzog twice impersonated a police officer.
On one occasion, he used his fake police car- a police-standard Crown Victoria, equipped with lights and sirens and emblazoned with a "Police Interceptor" logo- to pull over a driver who had cut him off on the freeway. Herzog was armed at the time of this "road rage".
A month later, Herzog followed a woman out of a grocery store, pursued her, and used his fake police car to pull her over and ask her personal questions. The terrified woman fled the scene and found a genuine police officer, who arrested Herzog- and discovered that Herzog was also illegally carrying an unregistered handgun.
Herzog pled "No Contest" to the two counts, served 255 days in jail and was sentenced to three years' probation (he is still on probation as of this writing). As an interesting aside, Herzog has the same probation officer as Lindsay Lohan.
There's more to the story: Herzog is also promoting a tell-all book, sharing secrets about the celebrities he has protected. His website states he "has never signed a non-disclosure agreement"- as if this justifies violating one of the most basic ethical rules of the executive protection industry: "Keep your client's secrets secret".
In this book, Herzog claims that he had a sexual relationship with Oksana Grigorieva- Mel Gibson's ex-girlfriend; he also claims to have "proof" that Grigorieva was attempting to extort money from Gibson. Grigorieva's attorney denies the relationship claim, and describes Herzog as "half blackmailer, half psychopath".
This is the guy Herman Cain decided to hire as his bodyguard.
Link #2, above, describes Kris' appearance on October 23rd (7 days prior to this post) as being his first engagement with Cain; the Washington Post gives a date for October 21st for the same tour bus photograph. One week later, on October 28th (this past Friday), Inside Edition ran this story, describing Herzog as Cain's "former bodyguard":
Cain's campaign has come under fire for the chaotic way it's reportedly being run. At the top of the list of questionable decisions is the very fact that they hired Herzog, a man with a controversial past.Herzog's explanation:
He insists he never kept his controversial past a secret from Cain's staff. But he did quit the Cain campaign due to the resulting embarrassment.To summarize: Herzog says he quit working for Cain after one week (though his resignation letter says '11 days', see below), due to embarassment resulting from the Cain campaign's decision to hire him.
"Writing that letter of resignation was so physically painful. It was only like 30 or 40 words, it took me an hour and a half to do it," said Herzog.
"Were you an embarrassment to the Cain campaign?" asked Moret.
"Yes, and it breaks my heart," said a tearful Herzog.
I find it impossible to believe that Cain's staff didn't conduct a background investigation of Herzog before his hire, or for that matter, a simple Google search. Stated differently, I find it impossible to believe that Cain didn't know this information when he made the decision to hire Herzog, rather than hiring any of the thousands of highly-qualified professional bodyguards (without criminal records) available in the United States.
It gets worse, though: According to Herzog's resignation letter, Cain "felt God brought us together".
Cain is running for President of the United States- why would he get involved with someone like Herzog?
I ask the reader this: If Cain made such a monumentally bad decision about his own personal security, what other bad personnel decisions would he make as President?
Of course, there was no media scrutiny of this decision over the weekend; instead, all eyes were focused on an asinine fifteen-year-old story involving Herman Cain's chin.