Cain accuser has history of financial troubles, legal squabbles
Her father, fiance say they stand with her
By Lisa Black, John Chase and Lolly Bowean, Chicago Tribune reporters
10:03 p.m. CST, November 7, 2011
The emerging portrait of Herman Cain's most recent accuser shows a suburban homemaker with a history of financial and legal troubles, but one who supporters say has the guts to do the right thing.
Sharon Bialek, 50, is the fourth woman — and the first publicly — to accuse the Republican presidential hopeful of sexual harassment. In a dramatic news conference Monday in New York, Bialek, a former employee of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, said she had sought Cain's help in finding a new job in July 1997 shortly after the organization had fired her.
Records show she twice has filed for personal bankruptcy, first in 1991 and then again in 2001. In the latter case, she claimed $5,700 in assets and more than $36,000 in liabilities. Among the creditors seeking payment was a management firm demanding back rent of $4,500, four credit card companies and a lawyer asking for his legal fees.
After the case was discharged, she accused a former boyfriend of harassing her for repayment of a loan, court records in the bankruptcy case show. Bialek borrowed $4,500 from William Concha, though Concha now believes she had no intention of paying him back, according to his brother, Mario.
Reached Monday night in Spain, William Concha declined comment.
At least two liens have been filed against Bialek, according to records from the Cook County recorder of deeds.
The IRS filed a tax lien against her in 2009 for nearly $5,200. In August, the Illinois Department of Revenue claimed Bialek owed the state more than $4,300, including penalties and interest, relating to income taxes from 2004, according to county records.
Court records also show creditors took legal action against her during the past decade, including at least one lawsuit filed in Cook County.