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

(Continued)

Both Brodkorb and Koch were powerbrokers in the Republican Party before their affair was discovered. Brodkorb rose to prominence as an aggressive researcher who attacked Democrats through his personal blog. He was the Senate’s GOP communications director when he was fired, a post that had him working closely with Koch on strategy.

But the affair ended that, with Koch resigning her leadership post after she was confronted by Senate Republicans, who then controlled the chamber.

While Koch faded from view, serving out her Senate term and leaving the Legislature, Brodkorb sued and built his case on a gender discrimination claim. As the legal case dragged on, he took steps to rebuild his career as a political consultant.

His attorney, Greg Walsh, said the settlement would help Brodkorb get his personal and professional career back on track. Brodkorb’s father, Bernie, stood behind him at the news conference.

Koch told WCCO-AM she was relieved by the settlement.

“The money that was being spent seemed absurd to me,” Koch said. She also said she was worried about other families being hurt if other legislative affairs came out.

“I understand the hurt that was coming for those folks and it was very concerning for me,” Koch said.

Marshall Tanick, a longtime employment law attorney in Minneapolis, said both sides gain from what he called a “relatively small” settlement.

“From Brodkorb’s and his attorneys’ standpoint, it relieves them of the threat or risk of having the case dismissed and sanctions imposed,” Tanick said. “From the standpoint of the Senate and the public, it brings to a conclusion a matter that has been disturbing and cuts off a legal expense that’s been a drain on the state coffers.”

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