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Minn. Senate legal bills for Brodkorb suit reach nearly $200,000

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The Minnesota's Senate legal costs associated with a lawsuit filed by former Republican staffer Michael Brodkorb have reached nearly $200,000, according to the Associated Press.

A new invoice from the Senate's private attorney shows $90,000 in new expenses on top of previous costs of about $100,000. A source familiar to the matter says the new costs reflect aggressive efforts to settle or dismiss the case.

Brodkorb is suing over his firing that came after an affair with former Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch became public. The lawsuit alleges gender discrimination, claiming female legislative employees involved in intimate relationships with legislators never suffered consequences.

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, has not said how they will handle the legal bill, although Bakk does not agree that taxpayer dollars should be used to pay the Senate's lawyer fees.

Senate Republicans will meet Thursday to review the bill:

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State Senate's legal bills in Brodkorb case reach six figures

Michael Brodkorb is a former staffer for Minnesota Senate Republicans whose lawsuit claims he was wrongfully fired. Majority Leader Dave Senjem says the suit has no merit and the Senate will prevail in court. Some DFLers fear the bills could climb to $1 million and want Republicans to set up a legal defense fund instead of using state money to pay the attorneys.

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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.