Amy Koch says her ouster was part of power grab in Senate GOP


Former Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch is speaking out against her former colleagues and what she describes as a power grab that forced her out of her Republican leadership post.

Koch resigned her leadership position 13 months ago, after colleagues confronted her about an affair she was having with a staff member. In recent days she's conducted her first interviews since she stepped down. Koch tells the Star Tribune she felt betrayed by fellow GOP senators, whom she says leaked word of her affair to the news media before she had had a chance to discuss it with her family.

One of those colleagues, former Sen. Geoff Michel, calls Koch's version of events "incomplete and inaccurate." Michel, like Koch, declined to run for office again last fall. Koch had attributed the leaked information to Michel, but told WCCO Sunday that attorney and public relations consultant Ron Rosenbaum told her he was the source of the leak.

Earlier, Koch had more general criticism for the direction of the Minnesota GOP. In an interview with MinnPost, she said Republicans have fallen behind the DFL when it comes to their use of data and social media -- calling the GOP "a Blockbuster Video in a Hulu world."

The staff member involved in the affair with Koch, Michael Brodkorb, is suing the Senate, claiming he was wrongfully fired because of gender discrimination. Brodkorb claims there are many examples of male senators having affairs with female staffers without anyone losing their job. Legal bills to the state for fighting Brodkorb's suit are approaching $200,000.

Meanwhile, Brodkorb was seriously injured in a car accident last week. His wife said Friday Brodkorb's condition is improving.

Koch's marriage did not survive the turmoil of late 2011. She now owns and operates a bowling alley and grill in Maple Lake.

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