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Brodkorb lawsuit lists current and former legislators facing depositions

Slated for depositions are Sen. Dave Senjem, former Sens. Chris Gerlach, Geoff Michel and Claire Robling, and former Senate Secretary Cal Ludeman.

The attorney for Michael Brodkorb’s wrongful termination case has filed notice in federal court that he intends to take depositions from several current and former legislators and the former secretary of the Senate, Cal Ludeman.

Attorney Greg Walsh also requested video depositions of Sen. Dave Senjem and former Sens. Chris Gerlach, Geoff Michel and Claire Robling. The depositions are to be taken in St. Paul the week of June 3.

Senjem was the leader of the Senate’s Republican majority caucus when former communications director Brodkorb filed his lawsuit, claiming he was wrongfully fired because of a personal relationship with Senjem’s predecessor, Amy Koch.

Brodkorb claims that other staff members of the Legislature had similar relationships with supervisors but were transferred to other positions, not terminated.

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Robling, Gerlach, and Michel were part of the Senate leadership team in the fall of 2012 that confronted Koch about her affair and insisted she give up the leadership position.  Ludeman, as secretary of the Senate at the time, made the decision to fire Brodkorb. 

The current Senate majority leader, Tom Bakk, has agreed with his predecessors that Brodkorb was an at-will employee and thus far has rejected attempts at settling the case. Legal fees reported thus far have cost the Senate nearly $200,000.

The Senate defense attorneys have pushed for a protective order to keep the proceedings private, but the U.S. magistrate has yet to rule on the request.