In December of last year, Minnesota state Senator Amy Koch resigned from her position as Senate Majority Leader after it came to light that the married mother of one had been having an affair with a then-unnamed male staffer. Now Koch’s paramour, Michael Brodkorb, is coming forward and suing the state on grounds of wrongful termination and gender discrimination, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Brodkorb alleges that women who have had affairs with male members of the state senate have been allowed to retain their positions, whereas he has been forced out of his job.
“Mr. Brodkorb has evidence that similarly situated female legislative employees, from both political parties, were not terminated from their employment positions despite intimate relationships with male legislators. It is clear that Mr. Brodkorb was terminated based on his gender,” the lawsuit reads.
His attorneys have made it clear that they intend to depose “all of the female legislative staff employees who participated in intimate relationships, as well as the legislators who were party to those intimate relationships, in support of his claims of gender discrimination.”
Brodkorb was dismissed from his job in December, the day after Koch’s resignation. He contends that Secretary of the Senate Cal Ludeman made it clear to him that he was being fired because of his entanglement with Senator Koch.
Ludeman denies the claims, insisting that the state handled Brodkorp’s termination properly. He added that Brodkorb is attempting to “blackmail” the Senate, disrupt its work, and “extort” payment.
Current Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem declined to comment on the matter. Democratic Minority Leader Tom Bakk said that he was not aware of any legislators who have had affairs with staffers.
Brodkorb’s attorney Phil Villaume told the Star-Tribune that his client is seeking $500,000 in compensatory damages. If the case is unsuccessful, Brodkorb intends to sue the team of legislators who intervened with Koch and asked her to terminate the relationship and resign her position as Majority Leader. All are alleged to have had knowledge of the affair and to have been instrumental in securing Brodkorp’s dismissal.
Senator Koch declined to comment to the Star-Tribune, citing an unwillingness to speak on any topics relating to a pending legal matter. She has never publicly admitted to having a relationship with Brodkorb.
Watch this video from Star Tribune, uploaded March 14, 2012.
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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