A judge’s order that would allow confidential sealing of pre-trial information and depositions in Michael Brodkorb’s wrongful termination lawsuit against the Minnesota Senate has revealed the existence of audiotapes.
Those tapes might show that elected officials had affairs with staff members who were not terminated, as Brodkorb was for his relationship with former Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch.
Brodkorb attorney, Greg Walsh, in a statement, said that lawyers for the Senate asked for the protective order after they learned that Brodkorb had “audiotapes from meetings between Mr. Brodkorb and representatives of the Minnesota Senate which we believe support Mr. Brodkorb’s claim the he was wrongfully terminated.”
One source familiar with but not directly involved in the case said that Brodkorb, the former communications director for the Senate Republican caucus, recorded a conversation with the former president of the Senate, Michelle Fischbach.
According to the source, Fischbach told Brodkorb that several state senators had been involved with staff members who were not terminated as a consequence, and she acknowledged he was treated differently as a result of his affair with Koch.
Attorney Walsh said that Brodkorb wants to protect specific names but that “actions involving his wrongful termination should be available to the public.”
The state has already spent more than $200,000 in legal fees on its defense. Walsh said, “The net effect of this protective order will only cost the taxpayers of Minnesota more money.”
Dayle Nolan, the attorney from the Larkin Hoffman law firm representing the Senate, was not immediately available for a response.
Judge Arthur Boylan’s order allows the opposing counsel to object to a request for confidentiality, which the court then may either grant or deny.