ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — State legal expenses associated with former Senate aide Michael Brodkorb’s lawsuit now top $226,000.

The Minnesota Senate is paying a private firm to fight claims it mishandled Brodkorb’s termination. The latest $27,700 invoice was made public Wednesday and covers expenses from February through April.

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The former chief GOP communications aide was fired after reports surfaced of an extramarital affair he was having with then-Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, who no longer holds office.

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Brodkorb is suing over what he regards as a wrongful dismissal. Senate attorneys contend his firing was legitimate and have succeeded in narrowing other lawsuit claims.

The federal case is on track for a summer 2014 trial, but a settlement conference has been scheduled for late September. At least one prior attempt to reach a settlement failed.

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