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Bakk: Senate must explain Brodkorb legal situation

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger under Minnesota state senators, Democrats, Republicans Updated: February 1, 2012 - 7:29 PM

By Mike Kaszuba


The legal saga concerning former top Senate Republican aide Michael Brodkorb may get even more interesting.

Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk has asked Senate Republicans to explain who gave Secretary of the Senate Cal Ludeman the authority to hire a lawyer to defend the Senate against any legal action from Brodkorb.

Brodkorb was fired in December just after Senate Republicans confronted former Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch regarding an improper relationship she had with an unidentified staff member.  Koch resigned as Senate majority leader over the episode, but has not identified the staff member.

Brodkorb meanwhile announced this week that he had hired a legal team to represent him over his possible wrongful dismissal.  One of the lawyers, Philip Villaume, said that “if they think my client is going to quietly go away, that’s not going to happen.”

Ludeman in response said the Senate had hired its own lawyer.

In a letter Tuesday to new Senate Majority Leader David Senjem, Bakk said the Senate’s Rules and Administration Committee needed “to be provided with a complete explanation of how the Secretary of the Senate arrived at the decision to acquire outside legal counsel, and under what authority this action was taken.”

He said that the Senate also needed to be told how much money has been paid – or committed – to hiring a private attorney.

Bakk added that Senate rules required that the hiring of a lawyer needed to go before the Rules and Administration Committee.

Update:

In response, Senjem provided Bakk with some information about the decision to hire outside counsel. 

"The Senate needed to obtain the professional judgment of an attorney experienced in the field of employment law," Senjem wrote. He said that expenses related to the outside counsel would become public information. 

See both letters below.
 

BakkLettertoSenjemRulesRequest

 

20120201SenjemtoBakk

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