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Former Senate Staffer Critically Hurt In Mendota Heights Crash

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A former staff aid for the Minnesota Senate appears to have been critically injured in a car crash late Wednesday night in the east Twin Cities metro.

The Minnesota State Patrol says Michael Brodkorb, 39, is currently listed in critical condition at Regions Hospital in St. Paul. Brodkorb was a prominent staff member in the Minnesota Senate. He was fired after his affair with then Majority Leader Amy Koch became public.

A spokesperson for Regions Hospital says that no information at this time is being released on 39-year-old Brodkorb of Eagan. Authorities said the crash happened at about 9:15 p.m. Wednesday in Mendota Heights.

“There was serious or significant damage to the vehicle. It appears it did strike the wall at freeway speeds,” said Lt. Eric Roeske, of the State Patrol.

The Minnesota State Patrol says Brodkorb was driving a 2004 Subaru Forester northbound on Interstate 35E at Highway 13, he hit the bridge wall at the walkway, then came to rest against the concrete barrier.

According to the State Patrol, alcohol was detected on Brodkorb, and he was not wearing a seat belt. His airbag was deployed, and Brodkorb was alone in the car.

“We are confident that alcohol was present based on the odor of intoxicants on his breath,” Roeske said. “We don’t know the alcohol concentration. We will have to wait for the test results to come back.”

Authorities said no other vehicles were involved in the accident. The last time there was any activity on Brodkorb’s Twitter account was Wednesday afternoon. He retweeted a reminder about a get-together at a downtown St. Paul bar, The Amsterdam Bar and Grill at sixth and Wabasha.

The Minnesota Governmental Relations Council was having a “Get to Know You” Party there from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. last night. It is not known if Brodkorb went to that party.

Brodkorb was in the headlines a lot last year after he was fired from the Senate. His affair with Amy Koch became public in December of 2011. Brodkorb is suing the state claiming he was treated differently than female staffers who had affairs with male Senators.

Brodkorb said in an interview with us in October that he made some serious mistakes in judgment.

“I made some very poor decisions that impacted my family in a very hurtful way and I am going to have to spend the rest of my life knowing I made some very difficult decisions,” he said then.

Former Sen. Koch is apparently still in contact with Brodkorb. She tweeted on Thursday, “Seems he will be fine. Still out.”

Brodkorb was the chief spokesman for the Senate Republican caucus. In 2009, he was the deputy chair of Minnesota’s Republican Party.

“We may have differences along the way from the standpoint of how we feel about certain initiatives, but we are friends and people first,” said Sen. Dave Senjem, R-Rochester, “but I wish Michael well, and hopefully a speedy recovery.”

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