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Minnesota Senate gets another legal bill in Brodkorb case

Michael Brodkorb
Michael Brodkorb

Another bill is on the way to the Minnesota Senate for legal services related to the firing of Michael Brodkorb, former communications director for the Republican caucus. Paying that bill will be an order of business when the Senate Rules Committee meets Dec. 13.

The office of the secretary of the Senate says it hasn’t yet seen the invoice from the Larkin Hoffman Daley and Lindgren law firm.  But given that the legal services covered some actual court action in the case, the bill will be in the five figures, possibly as high as $50,000.

The Senate paid $85,000 for legal work that began early this year even before Brodkorb filed litigation, claiming his dismissal, for his affair with former Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, constituted gender discrimination. Brodkorb claims that female employees involved in other similar relationships were not fired but transferred to other posts.   Thus far, the Senate has paid Larkin Hoffman $103,000 in legal fees.  

The Senate will have some extra funds to cover the new billing.  During the meeting, likely the last under the Republican majority, the Rules Committee will consider how to use a $2.6 million surplus in the Senate’s budget.

On a two-year budget that hovers around $40 million, Steve Sviggum, the Republican caucus communications director, describes the amount as “a significant carry forward.  It’s a result of some pretty good management by the Senate.”

According to Sviggum, reducing the per diem payment by $10, travel restrictions and a salary freeze led to the surplus.

The surplus will move forward into next year, as will the Brodkorb legal fees. Both sides are waiting for a ruling from federal magistrate Arthur Boylan on whether to dismiss some of the motions in the case.   

Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by James Hamilton on 11/29/2012 - 11:54 am.

    Do us a favor

    and make the bill available on-line when it’s made public. I’d really like to see what we’re paying for as well as how much per hour for whose work.

  2. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 11/29/2012 - 01:14 pm.

    “[P]retty good management by the Senate”

    I don’t know if I would call “having enough money to pay the legal bills caused by the firing of our resident pan-boy” even “pretty good.” Perhaps it is, but only by comparison to the hash the Republicans made of the rest of the state’s finances during their tenure.

  3. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 11/29/2012 - 05:46 pm.

    Volunteer Help

    Were any attorneys among the defeated GOP Senators? They’ll have more free time and maybe they could handle the case gratis. It would be a good way for them to model personal responsibility by cleaning up their own mess.

  4. Submitted by mark wallek on 11/29/2012 - 10:50 pm.

    Where to get the money.

    I would like to see all the family values folks at the capital foot this bill. I resent my tax dollar paying this individual’s expenses when his behavior was both hypocritical and dishonest. Brodkorb did his boss on public time, you’d think that would disqualify him from being able to shirk his financial obligations. One cannot wish him a good future, seeing as how we’ve been taken for a financial ride. Personally, I’d have liked to see both him and his lover pilloried for a week and then just let go.

  5. Submitted by Phil Dech on 11/30/2012 - 12:38 pm.

    Here’s an idea to save on legal fees-

    make the Republicans hire him back!

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