Brodkorb closer to filing lawsuit against Senate

Brodkorb, Walsh
Michael Brodkorb, right, and his attorney Gregory Walsh spoke to media in downtown Minneapolis following their filing of a gender discrimination complaint against the state of Minnesota and the Minnesota Senate with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Wednesday, March 21, 2012.
MPR Photo/Mark Zdechlik

Former Senate staffer Michael Brodkorb has taken the first step toward suing over what he claims was his wrongful firing for having an affair with former Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch.

Before Brodkorb can file a lawsuit, he had to register a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Following that filing, Brodkorb told reporters he didn't want to file a lawsuit, but has no other option because the Senate won't mediate the dispute.

"I know the wheels of state government move slowly, but my attorneys and myself have made every attempt to work in a productive way with the Senate to mediate this issue out," he said.

One of Brodkorb's attorneys, Gregory Walsh, said mediation remains an option if the Senate wants to head off a lawsuit.

"That's been our goal," he said, "to get quietly to the table. Unfortunately, the Senate hasn't allowed us to do that."

Brodkorb said he can prove he was the victim of discrimination because he will show that female staffers who had affairs with male lawmakers did not lose their jobs. Senate Secretary Cal Ludeman issued a statement last week accusing Brodkorb of trying to extort money from the Senate.

Brodkorb's lawyers say they may sue Ludeman for defamation.