Brodkorb warns Senate he plans to sue for $500,000

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Michael Brodkorb

Former Minnesota Senate employee Michael Brodkorb on Thursday formally warned the Senate majority leader that he plans to sue the Senate for defamation and demand damages of more than $500,000, according to documents provided to the Star Tribune.

Brodkorb's new claim is that Senate Secretary Cal Ludeman defamed him when he told the press that Brodkorb was trying to "blackmail" and "extort payment from the Senate" through his legal case for wrongful termination. Brodkorb was fired in the wake of Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch's resignation from the leadership after senators confronted her about the affair she was having with him.

Since then, Brodkorb said he plans to prove that female employees who had affairs with lawmakers were treated differently. To prove that gender-discrimination case, in which he also asks for more than $500,000 in damages, Brodkorb said he may need to depose all legislators and staffers who have been reputed to have had sexual relationships.

On Thursday, a process server came to the State Capitol to physically serve Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem, R-Rochester, with notice that a defamation claim would be coming in addition to the wrongful termination suit. Senjem said on Thursday afternoon that he had received the warning.

"We'll deal with that," he said.

Meanwhile, the Senate Ethics Committee announced it is ready to deal with another flare-up from the sex scandal. The committee said Thursday that it would resume deliberations over whether former Senate Deputy Majority Leader Geoff Michel violated Senate ethics in his handling of the Koch-Brodkorb affair. A DFL complaint alleges that Michel mishandled the affair late last year and lied to the press about when he discovered it.

The committee, made up of two Republicans and two DFLers, took up the complaint last month but deadlocked. Then GOP members did not show up for a meeting scheduled to continue discussions. Since then, Senate Republicans had offered no clarity on if or when the committee would resume its work.

Rachel E. Stassen-Berger Twitter: @rachelsb

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