'Unprecedented' situation puts Senate ethics process up in the air

Senators say the lawsuit by former staffer Michael Brodkorb is complicating efforts to follow through with an ethics complaint against Sen. Geoff Michel. DFLers brought the ethics complaint over Michel's handling of the relationship between Brodkorb and former Majority Leader Amy Koch.
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Senators say the lawsuit by former staffer Michael Brodkorb is complicating efforts to follow through with an ethics complaint against Sen. Geoff Michel. DFLers brought the ethics complaint over Michel's handling of the relationship between Brodkorb and former Majority Leader Amy Koch.

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Senate ethics complaint in limbo

GOP senators serving on an ethics committee never showed up Friday when the panel was scheduled to reconvene to take up a complaint against Sen. Geoff Michel. The complaint stems from how Michel handled revelations of a relationship between then Majority Leader Amy Koch and staffer Michael Brodkorp.

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Brodkorb has hired employment law specialist Phil Villaume to handle possible legal action against the Senate. Brodkorb lost his job with the Republican caucus shortly after allegations surfaced that former Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch had an inappropriate relationship with a staffer.

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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.