Michael Brodkorb created a hostile work environment, Republican senator says
Michael Brodkorb created a hostile work environment months before he was fired in the wake of Amy Koch's resignation, a Republican state senator tells City Pages.
Brodkorb, the Republican Senate caucus' former communications director, was "abusive," "vicious," and "threatening," according to our source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to potential litigation. The senator says "numerous" state legislators complained to former Majority Leader Amy Koch about Brodkorb.
"He was the ultimate hostile work environment, and what we couldn't figure out is why Koch wouldn't fire him," our source said. "She wouldn't take any action against him. Well, he was the guy we found out was in control."
When news of Koch's "inappropriate relationship" with a male staffer broke, interim Senate Majority Leader Geoff Michel held a press conference to discuss the potential conflict of interest Koch's relationship with her subordinate posed.
"There is no doubt that a manager cannot have such a relationship with someone they oversee, whose budget they oversee," Michel said.
Our source revealed that "numerous" Republican senators complained to Koch about Brodkorb's boorish behavior but it fell on deaf ears.
"They weren't addressed because of things we didn't realize," the source said.
Koch denies ignoring senators' complaints.
"Serving them as a leader is always top priority, making certain my door was always open," Koch said. "Every time, on every concern, I made the strongest attempt to address any concern on any issue, any time. Serving the caucus was my top priority."
Koch declined to comment when asked if she received complaints about Brodkorb. "I'm not going to comment on HR issues or about employees," Koch said.
Brodkorb disclosed his relationship with Koch late last week. His attorneys held a press conference Thursday declaring Brodkorb's intention to sue the state senate for terminating him on the grounds that there was "gender discrimination."
Cal Ludeman accused Brodkorb of extortion
As part of his claim, Brodkorb threatens to "depose all of the female legislative staff employees who participated in intimate relationships, as well as the legislators who were party to those intimate relationships, in support of his claims of gender discrimination."
Secretary of the Senate Cal Ludeman has referred to Brodkorb's threatened lawsuit as an attempt to "extort a payment from the Senate."
Our source decided to speak out after Brodkorb made his claims public.
"When I heard that he has no job performance issues, that's not true," the source said. "There was performance issues. It's just that the person he positioned himself with wouldn't address the issues."
Michael Brodkorb declined to comment and directed a reporter to his attorney, who did not return a message seeking comment.
Senate Republican caucus spokesman Steve Sviggum declined to discuss the Brodkorb situation.
"It's in legal world right now," Sviggum said. "We've been advised to say 'no comment.'"
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