Former Minnesota Senate staffer Michael Brodkorb announced Thursday at the Capitol that he has settled a lawsuit launched after he was fired after having an affair with former Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch.
Both Brodkorb and the Senate announced Thursday that Brodkorb will be paid $30,000. The case cost the state nearly $320,000 in legal fees.
Brodkorb contended he shouldn't have been fired in 2011 after the affair was exposed, saying female staffers who carried on affairs were treated differently.
Terms of the agreement outlined by the chamber say that Brodkorb acknowledges that the facts of his case do not support a sex discrimination claim, nor do any of his other claims. The Senate will withdraw the pending motion for sanctions and will not look to regain attorney fees incurred in the case.
Subject to approval by the Committee on Rules and Administration, the Senate will pay Brodkorb the severance pay he was offered before he sued.
BRODKORB FINALLY BREATHES
Michael Brodkorb walked out of the Federal Courthouse with a deal he could've gotten when he was fired nearly two years ago, $30,000, and it nearly brought him to tears.
"For the last 45 minutes, I have felt like I have my life back," Brodkorb told FOX 9 News.
His life was a political soap opera, Brodkorb with the take no prisoners operative. Amy Koch, the first female Senate Majority Leader, together orchestrating a historic political takeover, all while carrying on a secret adulterous affair.
Brodkorb alleged there was a double standard at play and that female staffers wouldn't receive the same sanctions he did. He said he had names of male lawmakers who had affairs with female staffers who kept their jobs.
His attorney Greg Walsh now admits they didn't have the goods.
"We took some depositions and realized there were problems meeting the elements of a gender discrimination claims," Walsh said.
"We've said all along the Senate acted appropriately," Senate Minority Leader David Hann said when the announcement of a settlement came Thursday.
Taxpayers, however, are picking up about $300,000 in legal bills for the Senate. Brodkorb gets stuck with his own legal bills.
Brodkorb said he's lucky to be walking after a drunk driving crash in January, and at 39, he still believes his best years are ahead. For those who care about soap operas, it sounds like the affair is over, and Brodkorb's happy to have his family's support.
STATEMENTS FROM SENATE MAJORITY, MINORITY LEADER
Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk released the following statement:
"We are pleased to have successfully resolved this matter in the best interests of taxpayers and the institution of the Minnesota Senate. This agreement permanently dismisses Mr. Brodkorb's claims in their entirety while providing the limited severance pay that was offered to him before he commenced litigation against the Senate."
Senate Minority Leader David Hann released the following statement:
"We have said all along that the Senate acted appropriately in this matter. I am pleased that this agreement acknowledges that the facts of the case do not support any of the claims against the Senate and that the case has been dismissed."
BRODKORB TAPES: Ousted Senate staffer recorded firing
Although his former colleagues did not know it, Michael Brodkorb recorded the moment the axe came down, ending his employment with the Minnesota Senate. FOX 9 News has obtained exclusive access to the files.
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