Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


Judge’s order in Brodkorb case reveals existence of audiotapes

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.

Comments (7)

  1. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 06/08/2013 - 08:46 am.

    Can you say $1,000,000 total

    $200,000 is a months old number. I will be surprised if this ridiculous suit doesn’t get to be $1,000,000 by the time the lawyers doing their thing and then there will be an appeal. Hanky panky needs to be on Brodkorb’s nickel not the tax payers of Minnesota who had nothing to do with his sexual escapade. Had he not chosen to do what he did he wouldn’t have to worry about how others have been treated. The taxpayers should not have to pay for bad judgment on his part!

  2. Submitted by Donald Larsson on 06/08/2013 - 09:06 am.

    Just a technical point

    Are the “audiotapes” actually tapes (you know, on big or little reels, magnetic coating and all that–what you threw out or squirreled away in the attic over a decade ago)? I don’t mean to be nitpicky but we need to have our terminology catch up with our technology. “Audio recording” is clunkier, but more accurate.

  3. Submitted by Barbara Gilbertson on 06/08/2013 - 09:58 am.


    I find it fascinating that almost no one dares speak out publicly about this man. It is an apparent measure of the level of fear he has instilled in pretty much everyone. Ergo schadenfreude in his wake.

  4. Submitted by Mike Worcester on 06/08/2013 - 10:11 am.


    So my hard earned tax dollars (and what is the tab up to now?) are being used for a lawsuit, and all the information that is a part of that suit might be sealed?


    Sorry Minnesota Senate, but you guys screwed up. Badly. And now you are using my remittances to you to cover it up?


    One pissed off taxpayer.

  5. Submitted by Chelle Blakely on 06/08/2013 - 11:53 am.


    Just curious, are there any Minnesota laws about recording without disclosure? Are phone calls treated differently?

    • Submitted by Doug Duwenhoegger on 06/10/2013 - 07:54 am.

      Recording conversations

      In Minnesota as long as one side knows you are recording it is legal. It is not legal to covertly record conversations were none of the participants know you are recording their conversation.

  6. Submitted by Kenneth Kjer on 06/10/2013 - 07:09 am.

    Sealed Documents

    Every taxpayer in the state should be mad at this. We are the employers and pay their salaries, we have a right to know what is going on. Every taxpayer in the state should write their representatives and demand that all info in this case be made public.

Leave a Reply