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Judge orders settlement talks for Senate, Brodkorb

The state of Minnesota and former Republican Senate staffer Michael Brodkorb on Thursday were ordered into confidential settlement talks by U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge Arthur J. Boylan, the Star Tribune reports. The sessions are to begin Sept. 24. The judge asked both sides to submit confidential letters that summarize their settlement positions, and he put a gag order on both sides to prevent them from talking to the media, the newspaper says.
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The long-running feud between former Republican Senate staffer Michael Brodkorb and the Senate leaders who fired him may be nearing closure. U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge Arthur J. Boylan on Thursday told both sides to go sit in a room to begin confidential settlement talks, the Star Tribune reported.

The sessions would start Sept. 24. The judge put a gag order on both sides so they can't talk to the media, the newspaper reported.

Brodkorb maintains a Minnesota politics blog, but there wasn't any mention on it of the latest development in the case as news broke Thursday afternoon. He did not immediately say anything about it on Twitter.

Brodkorb in July filed a lawsuit in which he that alleged gender bias was at play when Senate leaders fired him from his job as the Senate GOP's influential communications leader. He was dismissed last year after then-Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch stepped down from her leadership position amid allegations she had an affair with Brodkorb. He says female staffers did not lose their jobs when they had affairs.

The six-figure cost of the case to the state has been rising steadily, MPR recently reported.

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