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Judge throws out part of Brodkorb's lawsuit

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A federal judge dismissed portions of the lawsuit filed by a former state Senate staffer who claims he was wrongfully fired. But the gender discrimination claim at the center of Michael Brodkorb's suit continues.

Judge Susan Richard Nelson threw out three counts, two of them involving allegations of defamation. Nelson ruled comments made by Senate Secretary Cal Ludeman came in the context of heated negotiations with Brodkorb.

Brodkorb was fired from his job with the Senate Republican caucus in 2011 amid the revelation that he was involved in an affair with the majority leader at the time, Sen. Amy Koch. Brodkorb maintains gender discrimination was at play, arguing that female staff members who have affairs with male senators suffer no job loss.

Senate leaders of both the DFL and Republican parties lauded the judge's narrowing of the lawsuit Wednesday night.

The cost of defending the suit has been an issue for some senators, as the expense to taxpayers has climbed toward $200,000.

The judge handed down her ruling on the same day that Brodkorb was charged with drunk driving. That charge stems from a one-car accident on a Mississippi River bridge that left Brodkorb injured.

Here is Judge Nelson's ruling dismissing three of the counts in Brodkorb's lawsuit.

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Brodkorb discrimination complaint is prelude to a lawsuit

Former Senate Republican staffer Michael Brodkorb is filing a gender discrimination complaint over his firing. He argues he was fired for having an affair with Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, while women who have affairs with male senators are not punished. Brodkorb's lawyer says the complaint is a step toward a lawsuit.

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The Senate Rules Committee will meet Wednesday to discuss how to proceed with the Michael Brodkorb case. The former staffer claims he was wrongfully fired over his affair with a Senator and has laid the groundwork for a gender discrimination suit. Brodkorb argues plenty of female staff members have affairs with Senators and go unpunished. The Senate is paying $330 an hour to defend itself, even before the suit is filed.