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Peter Kilgore, general counsel of the National Restaurant Association, finds himself in a tough spot these days—between presidential candidate Herman Cain’s denial of sexual allegations while he was president of the group, and demands from the media and others that the association release more details from confidential sex harassment claims against Cain. And things just got tougher. On Thursday, employment lawyer Joel Bennett made a proposal to the association on behalf of a client—presumably one of the two women who alleged sexual harassment against Cain during his presidency between 1996 and 1999—that could have major implications for Cain’s presidential bid. Bennett, a sole practitioner in Washington D.C., confirmed the contact. “This morning [Thursday] I emailed to the restaurant association’s attorney a draft statement of my client’s position, for the restaurant association’s agreement, for release, notwithstanding the confidentiality clause, of our 1999 settlement agreement,” he said. Cain has said the allegations have no basis in fact. But he apparently left the restaurant association not long after they were made. Kilgore has been the association’s general counsel since 1995, which includes Cain’s tenure as well as during the time of the allegations and financial settlements with the two women. He served as acting president until Cain’s replacement was named. The GC didn’t respond to messages seeking an interview. Bennett on Thursday declined to answer questions about who his client is, or what she hopes to accomplish. “I will have nothing to add until I hear back from the restaurant association attorney,” Bennett said. The association and Kilgore have turned the matter over to outside counsel Paul Skelly of Hogan Lovells in Washington. Skelly confirmed Thursday that he had received Bennett’s email asking “for consent to release a statement.” He said the restaurant association intends to respond to Bennett on Friday. Skelly said he has been working with the association and with Kilgore since 2008, and is “just doing my job” during the current controversy, though he concedes, “this is a little bit unusual.” He declined to say more. Contacted for comment, Sue Hensley, the association’s senior vice president of public affairs communications, emailed a statement instead. It simply said: “Our outside counsel was contacted by Mr. Bennett today and was asked to provide a response to a proposed statement by tomorrow afternoon. We are currently reviewing the document, and we plan to respond tomorrow.” The restaurant association has steadfastly refused to release any details of the settlements, citing their confidentiality and the privacy rights of its former employees. See also: “Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 and the Value, Pitfalls of Simple Messaging,” CorpCounsel, November 2011.

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