The saga continues over former Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch’s (R) “inappropriate relationship” with a subordinate staffer. Michael Brodkorb, who served as Koch’s executive assistant and communications director, claims that he was fired after the relationship was discovered because of his gender. He also says he has proof that other female staffers who had relationships with legislators were allowed to keep their jobs.
Brodkorb is now preparing to sue the Minnesota Senate, alleging wrongful termination and discrimination. Documents outlining the basis of the case confirm the relationship between Brodkorb and Koch. Rumors swirled in December that Koch’s “inappropriate relationship” was with him, but it wasn’t confirmed at the time. It continues:
“Brodkorb has evidence that similarly situated female legislative employees, from both political parties, were not terminated from their employment positions despite intimate relationships with male legislators. It is clear that Mr. Brodkorb was terminated based on his gender. He intends to depose all of the female legislative staff employees who participated in intimate relationships, as well as the legislators who were party to those intimate relationships, in support of his claims of gender discrimination.”
The document alleges that the secretary of the Minnesota Senate, Cal Ludeman, did not give Brodkorb an opportunity to transfer to a different position before he was fired. Brodkorb and the state Senate were in negotiations to mediate the complaints, but on Wednesday Ludeman denied the request. “Despite repeated Senate requests to provide any factual basis for any dispute over his termination, Michael Brodkorb has failed and refused to do so,” Ludeman said in a statement. Brodkorb’s claims are “without any merit whatsoever,” he continues. Brodkorb is asking for damages in excess of $500,000.
Brodkorb’s lawyer, Phil Villaume, told TPM that negotiations to mediate the complaints were going well. “I thought we had an agreement in principle (to mediate),” he said. “Then it was pulled off the table.”
Read the full notice of claims below:
h/t Minneapolis Star Tribune.
David Taintor is TPM’s News Editor. He contributes to TPM’s Livewire coverage, among other areas. David is from Chanhassen, Minnesota, where, yes, it gets very cold. Reach him at taintor [at] talkingpointsmemo.com