ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Senate attorneys sought Thursday to have a former aide’s lawsuit dismissed because they say the case has been tainted by an erroneous release of a list alleging Capitol sexual affairs.
The attorneys filed a federal court motion seeking to end the case and impose sanctions against Michael Brodkorb and his lawyers. The move stems from a document filed publicly last month that was supposed to remain private due to its sensitive details. The motion is set to be argued before a judge on Aug. 29.
Brodkorb, a former top Senate GOP aide, is suing over his firing after his affair with then-Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch surfaced in December 2011. Both were married at the time.
Brodkorb contends he was treated differently than female staffers in past affairs with lawmakers. He has long said he would detail those affairs to help prove his case, but the details were supposed to be kept out of public view pursuant to a protective order in the case.
In early July, Brodkorb’s attorneys publicly filed documents that contained names and circumstances of other alleged affairs. They were viewed by The Associated Press prior to being pulled off a court Web site. Brodkorb’s lawyers have insisted the public filing was a mistake and one has since left the case.
Senate attorney Dayle Nolan argued in Thursday’s filing that a list was deliberately released in defiance of the protective order and that potential witnesses might now clam up. She described the list as “salacious material” that is little more than gossip.
“The resultant damage to the Senate’s case is irreparable,” Nolan wrote. “In light of the attendant publicity, anyone who learns that his or her name is being brought up in the litigation will understandably assume that privacy cannot be guaranteed, and that false statements about them may be published without recourse.”
Brodkorb declined to comment on the new development. Brodkorb has said that the document was only a small part of the evidence he would present in his case.
The AP didn’t publish the names but attempted to reach all of those named to validate the claims. Only one person reached confirmed Brodkorb’s account but several denied suggestions made about them.
The case has already been expensive for taxpayers. The Senate has paid more than $225,000 in legal bills from Nolan’s firm and set aside another $500,000 to prepare for a possible trial next year.
Thursday’s motion seeks unspecified sanctions against Brodkorb’s side and also seeks to recover some of the Senate’s attorney fees.
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