Senate pays legal bill that will likely grow

Democrats in the Minnesota Senate are raising concerns about the fast-growing legal bill related to the firing of former Republican caucus staffer Michael Brodkorb.

Members of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee approved the payment today of a nearly $85,000 in outside legal fees. The divided voice vote appeared to fall along party lines, with Republicans voting to approve and DFLers voting against it.

The Senate is anticipating a wrongful termination lawsuit from Brodkorb, who was fired in December after Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch resigned her leadership post. It was later revealed that the two were having an affair.

Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, suggested GOP leaders think about other options.

"The majority should have a conversation about setting up a legal defense fund and trying to raise some money for this," Bakk said. "So the taxpayer isn't on the hook for who knows, who knows what the number will be?"

Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem, R-Rochester, said a legal defense fund has not been discussed and probably won't be. Senjem said the Senate must defend itself.

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