Amy Koch had "inappropriate relationship" with senate staffer. Was it Michael Brodkorb?
Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch resigned her leadership position Thursday after fellow Republicans confronted her about an "inappropriate relationship" she was having with a direct subordinate.
Senate Republicans have declined to name the staffer, but rumors began flying this afternoon that it was Republican powerbroker Michael Brodkorb, Koch's communications chief. Those rumors have intensified following the news that Brodkorb is no longer working at the Senate, which was revealed in an email sent by Senate Majority Leader Geoff Michel to staff late Friday afternoon.
Michel later appeared at a hastily called news conference after reports surfaced that Koch's resignation was due to the "inappropriate relationship" and explained that the MNGOP had confronted her because of the potential for conflicts of interest.
"There is no doubt that a manager cannot have such a relationship with someone they oversee, whose budget they oversee," Michel said.
"There is no doubt that a manager cannot have such a relationship with someone they oversee, whose budget they oversee," Senate Majority Leader Geoff Michel said.
MNGOP leaders refused to address the circumstances surrounding Brodkorb's sudden departure, including whether it was voluntary or if he was forced out, and whether it was connected to Koch's "inappropriate relationship."
In a previous explanation for her sudden and unexpected resignation, Koch claimed that it was because she had decided not to seek re-election next year and that the MNGOP "cannot afford a lame duck leader in negotiations next session, which is why I am resigning my position as Majority Leader."
Both political figures have families. Koch is married, and met her husband, Christopher, in the 1990s while serving in the Air Force. The couple have a young daughter.
Less is known about Brodkorb's romantic entanglements. When the power broker resigned as deputy chairman of the Republican Party earlier this year to work on Mike Parry's run for congress, Brodkorb said that even many of his closest supporters do not know that he has a "wonderful family" because he is a "very private person."
Brodkorb previously operated the site Minnesota Democrats Exposed, where he often trafficked in scurrilous gossip to make his political enemies look bad. Originally, he published the site anonymously, but was forced to reveal his identity after being sued for libel. The suit was ultimately dismissed.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.