Day by day, the saga of the Republican caucus of the Minnesota Senate unfolds.
Late this afternoon, former Majority Leader Amy Koch made her first public comment — an apology — since stepping down following allegations of “inappropriate behavior” with a male staffer:
“In a letter dated 12.5.11, I announced that I was resigning as Majority Leader for personal reasons,’’ she wrote in the statement she released today. “I have made some mistakes and errors in judgement for which I am deeply sorry by engaging in a relationship with a Senate Staffer. While I have not violated any laws or Senate rules, nor misused any state funds or property, I want to express my deep regret and apologies to my constituents, the Republican party, my fellow legislators, friends and, most importantly, my family.’’
Many of her Republican colleagues believe that Koch should leave her Senate seat before the start of the next session. But this statement only makes vague reference to the future.
“The events of recent days have been very difficult for me and those close to me,’’ she wrote. “It is important that I spend time focusing on the challenging days ahead as I work through some very personal issues.’’
Also today, Minnesota Public Radio reported that Senate leaders knew months ago about Koch’s relationship problem.
MPR said that former Senate staffer Cullen Sheehan, who left his Senate position a month ago, had informed Sen. Geoff Michel of the relationship in late September.
Last Friday, Michel in a news conference had told reporters that Senate leaders had learned of the behavior issue in the
last few weeks. Michel acknowledges the misleading timeline and says he fudged the timing to protect the source, who at that time was unidentified.