Michael Brodkorb lawyers up, may pursue legal action following termination from Senate
Just over a month after his tenure as communications chief for former Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch's came to an end amid rumors the two were having an affair, Michael Brodkorb is reportedly lawyering up and considering revenge.
In a news release, the Bloomington-based law firm of Villaume & Shiek, P.A. announced they have been retained by Brodkorb to serve as co-counsel in "representing Mr. Brodkorb in potential legal action related to his employment at the Minnesota Senate."
Philip Villaume, founder of Villaume & Shiek, says in the release that "we've been ascertaining details surrounding events leading up to and immediately following Mr. Brodkorb's departure from the Minnesota Senate and our client has been reviewing his legal options." He adds later that Koch will not be the defendant of any litigation.
On December 16 -- the day after Koch resigned as Majority Leader -- Geoff Michel, Koch's interim replacement, confirmed that Brodkorb was no longer employed by the Senate, but MNGOP leaders refused to address the circumstances surrounding Brodkorb's sudden departure. They wouldn't say whether Brodkorb resigned or was fired or whether his departure was connected to Koch's inappropriate relationship.
Although Brodkorb and the MNGOP have remained tight-lipped about the matter, it now seems clear he was fired. MPR reported that Brodkorb was fired by Cal Ludeman, secretary of the Senate, at the Moose Country restaurant in Lilydale.
From the MPR report:
All Senate employees are "at-will" employees, Ludeman said. New hires sign documents acknowledging the fact that they could be let go at any point.
Though the rules of the Senate make Ludeman the employer of all Senate workers, including Brodkorb, Ludeman said he made the Brodkorb decision on the recommendation of the Senate's leadership team.
"I told [the leadership team] that all Senate employees are at-will employees. I said that if they make a recommendation to me that we should exercise that 'at-will' status and make sure someone is not employed by the Senate for whatever reason, that could be done," Ludeman said. "And that's what they desired to have happen."
"They didn't give a reason, they just didn't want him representing the Senate Majority relative to anything that happened...from Friday afternoon on," Ludeman said.
Although Brodkorb was an at-will employee, a MinnPost report from earlier this month speculates that Brodkorb could possibly have a defamation claim based on the way MNGOP leaders and Ludeman handled public statements about his termination.
In any case, one thing is certain -- if there isn't a quick settlement, the depositions in a Brodkorb case will make for fascinating reading.
-- Amy Koch had "inappropriate relationship" with senate staffer. Was it Michael Brodkorb?
-- Michael Brodkorb leaves Mike Parry congressional campaign
-- Michael Brodkorb's Twitter feed offers insight into life during Amy Koch controversy
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