The Minnesota Senate on Thursday moved the employment discrimination lawsuit filed by former Senate staffer Michael Brodkorb into federal court, where U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson will preside over the case.

Brodkorb filed the lawsuit last month in Ramsey County District Court after failing to reach a settlement with Senate leaders.

Known as a fierce political combatant in the GOP, Brodkorb was fired the day after then-Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch resigned her leadership position. Koch, a Republican from Buffalo, stepped down abruptly after senators confronted her about an affair she was having with Brodkorb.

In his suit, Brodkorb, the former Senate communications chief, claims he was treated differently than women who had similar trysts with male legislative leaders.

Senate lawyers have argued that Brodkorb was an at-will employee who could be fired at any time.