Former Minnesota Senate staffer Michael Brodkorb was critically injured late Wednesday in a car crash on I-35E in Mendota Heights, authorities said Thursday.

The State Patrol said alcohol use by Brodkorb, 39, of Eagan, was detected at the scene and he was not wearing his seat belt.

According to the State Patrol report, Brodkorb was traveling alone northbound on 35E at about 9:15 p.m. when he hit the wall of the Hwy. 13 bridge, spun out, and crossed all three lanes before his 2004 Subaru Forester came to rest against the concrete median.

Brodkorb was taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul and was last reported to be in critical condition. A spokeswoman at Regions confirmed Thursday morning that Brodkorb was hospitalized but didn't have a condition update.

"A trooper detected alcohol on his breath," said Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske.

Brodkorb has been in litigation with the Senate after filing a lawsuit last July claiming gender bias when he was fired as the Senate Republicans' powerful communications chief.

In 2011, then-Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch stepped down from her leadership position after fellow GOP senators confronted her about an affair with Brodkorb, one of her top deputies.

Brodkorb is a former deputy chair of the Minnesota Republican Party and for several years he ran a bare-knuckled partisan website called Minnesota Democrats Exposed.

Since his firing, he has been self-employed as a communications, social media, public affairs and research consultant.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482