MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Ex-Senate staffer Michael Brodkorb pleaded guilty Wednesday to fourth-degree DUI, a misdemeanor, in connection with the January crash on Interstate 35E that left him seriously injured.

The Lilydale city attorney had charged Brodkorb with four criminal counts, including fourth-degree DUI, having an alcohol concentration of .08 but less than .20, careless driving, and driving without a seat belt in connection with the crash.

Brodkorb was driving a 2004 Subaru Forester northbound on Interstate 35E at Highway 13 at about 9:15 p.m. on Jan. 23 when he hit the bridge wall at the walkway and then came to rest against the concrete barrier.

Brodkorb released a statement Wednesday morning saying he accepts full responsibility for what happened and apologizes to friends and family, as well as the public.

“I have seen the pain and horrific tragedy of drunk driving affect those close to me and I should have made different decisions,” he said in the statement. “While the publicity involving my accident has been very difficult for my family, it will hopefully bring additional public awareness to the serious dangers of driving while intoxicated and the importance of wearing your seat belt.”

He was taken to Regions Hospital, where he spent several days recovering. Tests taken after the crash showed Brodkorb had a blood alcohol level of .10, just above the legal limit of .08 for driving in Minnesota. Brodkorb was sentenced Wednesday to one year probation and ordered to pay a $500 fine.

“Statistically, I should be dead, and I am alive today because of the speedy and caring work of state and local law enforcement, first responders and the medical staff at Regions Hospital,” Brodkorb stated. “All of the chapters in the book of my life have yet to be written and some of my best days are still to come.”

Brodkorb was the chief spokesman for the Senate Republican caucus. In 2009, he was the deputy chair of Minnesota’s Republican Party. He made headlines last year when he was fired from the Senate after his affair with Amy Koch became public. He sued the state, claiming he was treated differently than female staffers who had affairs with male Senators.

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