Lawyers for the Minnesota Senate say former aide Michael Brodkorb and his attorneys deliberately released a confidential list of lawmakers alleged to have had affairs with staff members. They argued in a court filing Thursday that a federal judge should respond by dismissing Brodkorb's lawsuit, in which he claims he was wrongfully fired.
Brodkorb's lawyers have said the filing of the list of names on a public website was a mistake. As the Associated Press reports, Senate attorneys argued the release was not an accident. They say it sent a message to potential witnesses that their privacy could not be guaranteed, making them less likely to testify.
Brodkorb was communications director for the Senate Republican caucus until he was fired in December of 2011 over an affair he was having with then-Majority Leader Amy Koch. Brodkorb claims he is a victim of gender discrimination because female staffers who have had affairs with male lawmakers were allowed to keep their jobs.
Brodkorb's side produced a list of such alleged affairs, which the court ordered should be kept confidential. The list was soon removed from the website where it was posted, but only after some media outlets had obtained it.
MPR reports the Senate argues in Thursday's filing that the release of the names was part of a Brodkorb "...strategy of attempting to try this case before the media rather than the Court.”
Brodkorb and one of his attorneys parted ways after the list was released.
The Senate has spent more than $200,000 on legal fees fighting Brodkorb's lawsuit and has allocated another $500,000.