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DFL chair Ken Martin decries Senate GOP behavior on ethics, admits crocodile tears on it

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger under Minnesota legislature, Minnesota state senators, Democrats, Republicans Updated: March 28, 2012 - 11:55 AM

DFL Chair Ken Martin on Wednesday  piled on to the Republican Senate's mess over an ethics complaint against former GOP top Republican, Geoff Michel.

Martin said the Senate GOP's behavior on the issue is bizarre and they should be held accountable. But, when asked if he was crying crocodile tears that the ethics tale had lasted days because of their inaction, he admitted that was the case.

"We're here to make it last another day, right? Absolutely. We are going to continue to talk about it," said Martin. "I'm not clear why they would continue to drag this out. It is not in the best interest of their party."

On Friday, the Senate ethics committee, made up of two Democrats and two Republicans, met to judge whether Michel, who was a deputy Senate Majority Leader, violated Senate ethics norms in his handling of the affair between former Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch and former staffer Michael Brodkorb. In an afternoon session, the committee deadlocked. The GOP members didn't show for an evening session, creating an abrupt halt to the proceedings.

Since then, Republicans have said they fear restarting deliberations because of concerns about damaging the Senate's position in a possible lawsuit from Brodkrob against the Senate. Brodkorb was fired last December the day after Koch resigned from leadership in the wake of a confrontation about the affair.

It is not clear when or if the Senate plans to resume judging the ethics issue and Tuesday the chair of the ethics committee, Sen. Michelle Fischbach was physically moved from reporters who sought to ask her about the issue.

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