Brodkorb attorney withdraws from case in wake of list's release

Phil Villaume withdrew after a list of legislators who allegedly had affairs was inadvertently made public.

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Michael Brodkorb

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Ex-Senate employee Michael Brodkorb said the public release last month of a list of legislators who allegedly had affairs caused him and one of his attorneys to part ways.

Phil Villaume, who had a leading role in Brodkorb’s year-old suit against the Minnesota Senate, withdrew from the case on Thursday, according to a public notice. Greg Walsh, who has represented Brodkorb since the start of the case, is now Brodkorb’s only attorney.

Brodkorb was fired from the Minnesota Senate in late 2011 in the wake of an affair he had with then-Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch. He is suing the Senate, claiming gender discrimination because he says female legislative staffers were allowed to keep Capitol jobs after they had legislative affairs.

Last month, a filing was posted on the federal court’s website that listed the names of one current and several ex-lawmakers whom Brodkorb claims had similar affairs. The posting, which was intended to be under seal, was released publicly, and several media organizations obtained copies of it.

Senate attorney Dayle Nolan said last month that the Senate would bring a motion for sanctions against Brodkorb’s team for violating a confidentiality order in the case.

Brodkorb said on Thursday that he and Villaume agreed that because Villaume’s office was responsible for releasing the document publicly, Villaume should withdraw.

“I don’t want distractions about how documents are filed to take away from the substance and merits of the facts of this case,” Brodkorb, a former Senate communications director, said. He said that along with keeping Walsh, he will be hiring another attorney shortly.

Brodkorb also said on Thursday that the list that was publicly available was “a list,” suggesting that he has other evidence, perhaps other names, he has submitted to prove his case.

Asked whether there are other lists at issue, Brodkorb said: “I have to be very careful about how I answer that question.”

He added: “One particular piece has gotten some attention, but in no way shape or form does it represent the full collection of evidence that’s gone on.”

Rachel E. Stassen-Berger Twitter: @RachelSB

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