Attorneys for the Minnesota Senate are seeking a wide list of records from former staffer Michael Brodkorb. The Senate wants everything from medical records, attorney fees, employers and information about other alleged affairs that occurred between lawmakers and staffers.
Brodkorb is suing the Senate for wrongful termination. He says he was fired because he had an affair with then Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch. Koch resigned her leadership position when a group of other GOP lawmakers confronted her about the affair in December of 2011. Brodkorb was fired one day later.
He filed a federal discrimination suit claiming that female staffers involved in similar relationships with male lawmakers were not fired. Senate officials say Brodkorb's firing was legal. DFL Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk told reporters yesterday that it was customary for the communications directors reporting to majority leaders to lose their jobs after a power change.
In a response to the legal requests, Brodkorb objected to several or said the information would be made available privately. The judge enacted a confidentiality agreement that makes some of the information private. Brodkorb cited the confidentiality agreement when asked to disclose other relationships that occurred in the Minnesota Senate and when asked to disclose the identity of medical professionals he’s seen “for the purpose of addressing any harm caused” by the Senate and the treatment or types of services rendered.
Brodkorb’s filing states that he did suffer injuries to the “mind so that he has in the past, and will in the future, suffer great mental pain and anguish subject to but not limited to extreme and severe anguish, humiliation, emotional distress, nervousness, tension, sleeplessness, and anxiety, the extent of which is not fully known at this time.” Brodkorb adds that his career has also been “irreparably harmed” as a result of his firing.
Brodkorb also notes that he secretly recorded meetings with Senate Republican Caucus Chief of Staff Kevin Matzek and former Secretary of the Senate Cal Ludeman and Senate President Michelle Fischbach.
Brodkorb also disclosed that he sought unemployment and worked since he was fired by the Senate in 2010. In court filings, Brodkorb said he worked for Mike Parry’s Congressional campaign, public relations consultant and Morning Take newsletter author Blois Olson, Weber-Johnson Public Affairs, The Arkin Group LLC and Republican consultant Ben Golnik.
Brodkorb also objected to a request that he state what his current relationship is with Koch. He also declined to say whether he destroyed or deleted any text messages exchanged with Koch since Feb. 1, 2012 except to say he has not deleted any e-mail or text messages related to the court case. In another filing, Brodkorb notes that there are no documents reflecting any “joint ventures, commonly owned property, or shared bank accounts” between Brodkorb and Koch.
The flurry of legal paperwork comes as the deposition portion of the case is about to begin. The judge has set a July 1, 2014 trial date. Senate officials have budgeted another $500,000 to pay for legal defense. DFL Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk says the Senate is unlikely to settle the case.
Here’s Brodkorb’s response: