The Senate’s legal bills stemming from Michael Brodkorb‘s wrongful termination lawsuit have now reached $226,000. The latest billings from the Larkin Hoffman firm add $27,701 to the tab for work done between February 13 and April 30.
Brodkorb was fired in December of 2011 after it was determined that he was having an affair with then-GOP Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch. In July of last year he sued the Senate on grounds that he was a victim of gender discrimination. Brodkorb claims that female staffers who engaged in similar behavior were allowed to remain in their jobs.
Depositions in the lawsuit are currently being taken. Each side can question up to 20 potential witnesses. Among the individuals who have been deposed this month: former Secretary of the Senate Cal Ludeman, former Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem and former Sens. Claire Robling, Geoff Michel and Chris Gerlach. The discovery process is slated to conclude in February. The case is currently scheduled for trial on July 1, 2014.
Last week U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan issued an order that allows either party in the lawsuit to designate any information obtained through the discovery process “confidential.” That means dissemination of any such documents to individuals not directly involved in the case is prohibited.
Brodkorb’s attorney in the case, Greg Walsh, issued a statement on Friday decrying the broadness of the order. Walsh claims that attorneys for the Senate only sought the broad confidentiality directive after tapes surfaced that support Brodkorb’s claims of gender discrimination.
“While Mr. Brodkorb would like to protect other families from the glare he continues to endure, other actions involving his wrongful termination should be available to the public,” Walsh said. “Mr. Brodkorb fought against the potential overreaching aspects of the protective order issued today by the court, which could unfortunately deny taxpayers an opportunity to learn the full details of the actions taken by certain members of the Minnesota Legislature involving Mr. Brodkorb’s employment at the Minnesota Senate.”