Unemployed Brodkorb seeks government bailout, gets denied, alleges invasion of privacy [UPDATE]
The Amy Koch-Michael Brodkorb sex scandal is like the gift that keeps giving richer and richer ironies.
The latest? MPR reports that Brodkorb's application for unemployment benefits was denied by the Department of Employment and Economic Development. He's appealing the decision.
In other words, the supposed rock-ribbed conservative is seeking a government bailout.
Unemployment applications are private information. But when an applicant is denied and appeals the decision, that information is public. Brodkorb's lawyer, Phil Villaume, refused a request to talk about his client's application.
MPR spoke with Andrea Rubenstein, a Minneapolis employment law attorney, to try and gain insight about why Brodkorb's application was turned down. Rubenstein speculated that Brodkorb's application may have been red-flagged by the employment department because misconduct led to him being fired from his job as spokesperson for the Minnesota Senate Republicans.
"If the reason given was he was fired because he had an affair with his boss, they would consider that misconduct, so they would initially reject it," Rubenstein said.
Brodkorb is scheduled to have his appeal heard by an unemployment judge next Thursday. In the meantime, we advise he take to heart the MNGOP's tough-love credo and stock up on Hot Pockets and Ramen noodles while looking for a new job.
:: UPDATE ::
On Twitter, Brodkorb just announced through his lawyer that "he will be adding an additional claim of invasion of privacy against the State of Minnesota, the Minnesota Senate and [secretary of the Senate Cal Ludeman] to his planned lawsuit over his unlawful termination from the Minnesota Senate."
Yesterday, Ludeman confirmed to MPR that Brodkorb had applied for unemployment benefits, was denied, and is appealing the decision. Now, Philip Villaume, Brodkorb's lawyer, is alleging that Ludeman's public discussion of Brodkorb's unemployment claim constitutes invasion of privacy.
Rubenstein, the Minneapolis-based employment attorney, doubts Brodkorb has any basis for the invasion of privacy claim. In an interview, she said "invasion of privacy claims are very limited in Minnesota," adding that she doesn't think statute defines publicly discussing an unemployment claim appeal as an invasion of privacy.
"If somebody appeals [an unemployment decision] and there is a hearing, that hearing is open to the public," she said.
Rubenstein said she can understand why Villaume wouldn't want Brodkorb's appeal hearing to be publicized, but added that "since [Brodkorb and Villaume] have made the whole thing so public, it's hard to understand why they're complaining."
Here's Villaume's statement, published this afternoon:
-- Michael Brodkorb plans to sue Minnesota Senate for defamation
-- Michael Brodkorb lawyers up, may pursue legal action
-- Michael Brodkorb alleges gender bias, hilarity ensues [UPDATE]
-- The Amy Koch Affair
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