Attorneys for a former GOP staffer have set a deadline for the Minnesota Senate to settle its case. In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem, attorneys for Michael Brodkorb requested the two sides try to reach a settlement.
“Prior to filing a Summons and Complaint in this case in District Court, to save on expenses and avoid unnecessary publicity, I suggest that we sit down for early mediation on this matter in order to try and reach a global settlement,” wrote Brodkorb’s attorney Phil Villaume.
Villaume also said he wanted attorneys representing the Senate to notify him whether they are open to mediation before July 16.
The letter notified the Senate that Brodkorb intends to also sue Senate Secretary Cal Ludeman for invasion of privacy.
“Mr. Brodkorb’s unemployment information is ‘absolutely privileged’ and by releasing said information, Cal Ludeman and the State of Minnesota are liable to Mr. Brodkorb for invasion of privacy.”
Ludeman confirmed to MPR News in April that the Department of Employment and Economic Development rejected Brodkorb’s application for unemployment benefits. He declined comment today. Ludeman has previously said that the Senate will not settle with Brodkorb.
The Notice of Claims was filed yesterday, the same day that Brodkorb met privately with GOP Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem and Deputy Senate Majority Leader Julianne Ortman. Senjem and Brodkorb declined to say what was discussed at the meeting.
Brodkorb is planning to sue the Senate for wrongful termination, defamation of character and invasion of privacy. He’s seeking at least $500,000 in damages. He claims that he was fired in December for having an affair with Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch even though female staffers who had affairs with their male employers were treated differently. Koch resigned her leadership position after being confronted about the affair. She is not running for re-election.
Brodkorb’s attorneys say they’re waiting for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to weigh in on the matter before they file suit.
Last week the Senate Rules Committee approved $85,000 in taxpayer money to pay for an outside attorney to help prepare for the pending litigation.
Here’s the Notice of Claims: