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Senate approves latest Brodkorb legal bill, total now almost $200,000

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger under Minnesota state senators Updated: February 18, 2013 - 12:31 PM

The Minnesota Senate has spent nearly $200,000 to defend itself against a suit from ex-employee Michael Brodkorb.

Senators approved payment of  latest bill, for $6,000, on Monday. Brodkorb was fired from the Senate in 2011, after he has an affair with then-Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, R-Buffalo. In the wake of the affair, Koch resigned from leadership.

Since then, Brodkorb sued the Senate claiming gender discrimination because female legislative employees had affairs and were permitted to keep their jobs. His attorney may soon begin  interviewing people who he believes had affairs and were treated differently.

Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, who has been in the Senate for nearly 20 years, said he doesn't know of any current or former employees who fit the description.

"We think he is going to have a hard time finding a circumstance that is similar to his," said Bakk.

He also said that the Senate has had no recent settlement talks.

"I have not talked to the attorney since that last invoice, the 17th of January," said  Bakk, DFL-Cook.

When the Senate was in Republicans hands, it hired a private attorney to handle the case. Democrats, who took over the Senate in January, kept the same attorney.

The Senate claims that Brodkorb was an "at-will" employee, which means he could be fired at any time.

"I think we are heading in the right direction, that the Senate hasn't done anything wrong," Bakk said.

Last week, a court tossed out all Brodkorb's claims but claims of gender discrimination.

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