*Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack held a press conference this afternoon to extend a personal apology to ousted employee Shirley Sherrod, and to reveal he has offered her another job working on civil rights at the agency.

Vilsack told reporters that Sherrod accepted his apology. He said, “She was extraordinarily gracious.”

The offer comes after an embarrassed administration apologized to Sherrod Wednesday for firing her over her remarks about race to an NAACP banquet in Georgia earlier this year. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the administration did not know all the facts when it acted.

When asked Wednesday if he had spoken with President Barack Obama, Vilsack said simply, “No.”

Vilsack insisted that it had been his decision to seek her resignation and said he takes full responsibility.

“This is a good woman,” Vilsack said. “She’s been put through hell.”

Sherrod, meanwhile, told The Associated Press she is considering Vilsack’s offer of a different position than her former post as state director of rural development in Georgia.

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