BRODKORB'S LIST: Filing mistakenly reveals lawmaker affairs - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

BRODKORB'S LIST: Filing mistakenly reveals other lawmaker affairs online

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

From the moment he filed, Michael Brodkorb warned he was willing to name other state lawmakers who had affairs and kept their jobs as he sought to prove gender discrimination in federal court. Now, he has.

The names of 10 state lawmakers most Minnesotans would surely recognized were revealed by mistake in a court filing that was uploaded to a public website but later sealed.

For Capitol insiders, the names won't come as a huge surprise -- and the biggest question in the air seems to be whether or not Brodkorb accidentally showed his hand too soon.

Each time the lawyers defending both Brodkorb and the Minnesota Senate head back to the court room, taxpayers are picking up the tab. So far, the bill has topped $225,000 and it's growing fast.

Brodkorb's key evidence is a list of lawmakers -- both Democrats and Republicans -- who he claims were "widely known" to be engaging in affairs with female staffers. In the mistaken filing, Brodkorb names six of the women -- one who allegedly had affairs with three lawmakers -- and claims all kept their jobs.

While FOX 9 News has verified all of the names contained in the filing, they will not be released since none have been subpoenaed or accused of illegal conduct.

Brodkorb's personal story played out very differently. Just 48 hours after his affair with former Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch went public, he was fired. Republicans claim he was an at-will employee who could be terminated for any reason, but Brodkorb sees it differently.

"It was a palace coup," he told FOX 9 News in a one-on-one interview last October. "It was an attempt to take over the Senate leadership."

Although Brodkorb acknowledges he was an at-will employee, he claims he was a victim of gender discrimination.

"You can't fire an at-will employee for reasons that are illegal," he contends.

Yet, as salacious as a list of lawmaker affairs may be, employment attorney Stephen Cooper says it may be a problem that only one of the names on the list is still in office. Some of the names date back to the 80s, and different leadership could pose a problem for someone trying to show a pattern.

"You have to have apples to apples. It's not good enough to have apples to oranges," Cooper explained. "Does that mean this information is meaningless? No, it does not, but ... if 10 names had all been during the same time period and the same people had been involved in the decision-making, then it would be very persuasive evidence."

Cooper, a former human rights commissioner, says there seems to be little dispute over the facts of the case. Rather, motive is the fulcrum on which the decision rests: Was it just raw politics or discrimination?

No current settlement talks are scheduled.

The Associated Press was the first to get their hands on the list. They reported that in at least two of the cases Brodkorb referenced, the lawmaker and staffer ended up getting married. In another case, a child was born out of wedlock.

It remains unclear whether any of the lawmakers may be asked to testify about their alleged affairs if the case goes to trial.

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