The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

September 26, 2013

Brodkorb settles for just $30,000

Senate aide lost job over affair with leader

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Senate agreed Thursday to pay $30,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by a former staffer who was fired over an affair with the chamber’s majority leader.

It’s the same amount that Senate leaders say Michael Brodkorb was offered as severance before he filed his lawsuit. Brodkorb had been seeking more than $500,000 over his December 2011 firing.

Brodkorb was dismissed after Senate leaders discovered he was having an affair with then-Majority Leader Amy Koch. Brodkorb sued for wrongful termination, arguing that he was treated differently than female staffers who had carried on affairs at the Capitol.

Senate leaders had argued they acted properly and had refused to settle. But legal costs had piled up to nearly $320,000 as of earlier this month.

“It’s a tremendous load off my shoulders, and I feel like I have my life back,” Brodkorb said.

In a statement, Senate leaders said Brodkorb had admitted he couldn’t prove any of his claims. They agreed to drop a motion for sanctions against him and his attorneys for an accidental release of sealed documents. And they dropped any attempt to recover attorney fees.

The settlement leaves in place a court-ordered seal on documents filed in the case. That’s significant because Brodkorb’s legal case included allegations of other affairs carried out at the Capitol by past and present lawmakers. The document accidentally filed publicly by his attorneys earlier this summer named several past and present lawmakers and aides he accused of doing just that.

Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, a Democrat, issued a statement that said the settlement was in the best interests of taxpayers.

Minority Leader David Hann, a Republican who was among the leaders who confronted Koch over the affair, said he was “pleased that this agreement acknowledges that the facts of the case do not support any of the claims against the Senate and that the case has been dismissed.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State, national news
  • Ellison urges Minn. to aid Central American minors ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota congressman is leading efforts to bring more unaccompanied children fleeing Central America to the state. But, immigration advocates and nonprofit groups that serve refugees are concerned Minnesota might not be abl

    July 22, 2014

  • Detroit retirees back pension cuts by a landslide DETROIT (AP) — A year after filing for bankruptcy, Detroit is building momentum to get out, especially after workers and retirees voted in favor of major pension changes just a few weeks before a judge holds a crucial trial that could end the largest

    July 22, 2014

  • Closings set in Ventura's suit over sniper's book ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Closing arguments are set in former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura's defamation lawsuit against the estate of "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle. The case is expected to go to the federal jury in St. Paul after lawyers for both

    July 22, 2014

  • American Jews, other 'lone soldiers' serve Israel The two Americans killed in fighting in the Gaza Strip followed in the footsteps of scores of Jews from around the world who have volunteered to fight for Israel. Israel calls them the lone soldiers: They are men and women in the prime of their live

    July 22, 2014

  • 9 TC Rainbow stores to close Supermarkets to lose in Cottage Grove, Shoreview, Inver Grove Heights, Apple Valley, Blaine, Bloomington, Coon Rapids, Maple Grove and Savage

    July 21, 2014

  • Accelerants fuel fire; 2 rescued ST. PAUL — Two brothers were rescued from the upper floor of a St. Paul duplex in a fire that was fueled by cylinders of gas, oxygen and other accelerants. Authorities say the two were taken to Regions Hospital where one man is in critical condition

    July 21, 2014

  • Monticello doctor dies in cycle crash Patients among those mourning Dr. Eric Lefebvre's death

    July 21, 2014

  • Precautions urged for excessive heat, humidity MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Health officials are urging Minnesotans to take precautions in dealing with high temperatures and humidity. The National Weather Service says the humidity will make temperatures feel like 100 to 110 degrees Monday across much of M

    July 21, 2014

  • NASA names building for moonwalker Neil Armstrong NASA honored one of its most famous astronauts Monday by renaming a historic building at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It now bears the name of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon when the Apollo 11 mission landed there 45 years

    July 21, 2014

  • Minnesota man loses relatives in airliner crash Drew Ryder of Willmar says victims included his brother, sister-in-law

    July 21, 2014