Senate panel pays latest legal bill

A Minnesota Senate panel has approved the payment of another legal bill related to the firing of Republican staffer Michael Brodkorb.

Without comment, members of the Senate Rules Committee voted unanimously today on the $5,956.50 invoice from the Larkin Hoffman Daly & Lindgren law firm for three months of work. The total bill is now more than $200,000. Brodkorb filed a discrimination lawsuit against the Senate following his firing in 2011. It was later revealed that he was having an affair with then-Majority Leader Amy Koch.

A federal judge last week dismissed three counts in the lawsuit, including defamation allegations.

Following the committee meeting, the current DFL Majority Leader, Tom Bakk of Cook, said he still believes the Senate has a strong defense, because Brodkorb was an “at-will” employee.

“I think he started originally with ten charges against the Senate,” Bakk said. “We’re now to just two, and they’re both on the same subject, a state and a federal sex discrimination charge. Everything else has been dismiss. So, I feel pretty good about the direction it’s going.”

Bakk said there are no discussions currently underway to try to settle the case. He said he planned to meet with GOP Senate Minority Leader David Hann later this week to talk about the legal bills.