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November 24, 2014

Senate panel budgets $500,000 for Brodkorb suit

A Minnesota Senate panel expects the cost of fighting Michael Brodkorb’s wrongful termination lawsuit to exceed $700,000 by next summer, the Star Tribune reports.

The Senate Rules Committee approved a budget Wednesday of more than $500,000 in taxpayer money to pay for legal fees between now and July 2014. About $228,000 has already been spent.

Brodkorb, former Senate communications director, was fired in 2011 after it was revealed that he and then-Majority Leader Amy Koch were having an affair.

Brodkorb alleges gender discrimination, claiming that other female staffers who had affairs with male lawmakers were not fired. He’s seeking $600,000 in damages.

Senate officials have denied Brodkorb’s claims and maintain that he was fired legally.

Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, said the approved budget is not intended to be used for a settlement, MPR reports.

“The Senate has done nothing wrong in the process that we used and we should not send the signal that we are going to settle,” Senate Minority Leader David Hann, R-Eden Prairie, told the Star Tribune.

The case is scheduled to go to trial July 1, 2014.