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Second audiotape in Brodkorb case reveals discussion about mediation

Another audio recording has surfaced, this one involving Sen. Julianne Ortman of Chanhassen.

Another audio recording has surfaced in connection with the wrongful-termination lawsuit filed by former Republican communications director Michael Brodkorb against the Minnesota Senate.

A source who heard the audio said that in the 15- to 20-minute recording, state Sen. Julianne Ortman of Chanhassen spoke with Brodkorb about the possibility of settling the case.  In the conversation, according to the source, Ortman indicated a desire to bring in a mediator to work with both sides.

Brodkorb’s attorney, Greg Walsh, has stated that there are multiple tapes of conversations that would support his client’s claim that he was treated differentlythan similar instances for his relationship with former Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch.

A second source familiar with the case said that Brodkorb recorded a conversation with Michelle Fischbach, former president of the Senate  and former chair of the Senate ethics committee. In that conversation, she reportedly acknowledged that several state senators had been involved with staff members who were not terminated as a consequence of their relationships.

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The existence of the audiotapes was revealed as the result of a judge’s order that would allow confidential sealing of pre-trial information and depositions in the case. Attorney Walsh said it was only after Senate attorneys learned of the tapes that they asked Judge Arthur Boylan for the confidentiality order.

The Senate has spent more than $200,000 on its defense and is expecting another billing from the Larkin Hoffman law firm.

Dayle Nolan, the lead attorney for the Senate, did not return a second request for comment.