Former MN Senate worker Brodkorb hospitalized after car crash

9:54 AM, Jan 25, 2013   |    comments
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ST. PAUL, Minn. -- A former Minnesota Senate Staffer is hospitalized after a serious car crash on Interstate 35 Wednesday night. Michael Brodkorb was listed in critical condition by the MN State Patrol after he was admitted to Region's Hospital.

Brodkorb, you may recall, has sued the Senate for discrimination after he was fired in December of 2011. That happened shortly after an affair he was having with then Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch was exposed.

"The events of the past do not transcend the concern for him right now," Republican Senator David Senjem of Rochester told reporters. Sen. Senjem, who calls Brodkorb a friend, hired him for his political savvy and consultation a few years ago. Most recently, Brodkorb was a very high level staffer for the Senate Republicans.

"From the evidence at the scene it appeared the vehicle just went off the road straight into the wall," Lt. Eric Roeske explained. Roeske says Brodkorb was alone in his car when he struck a bridge pillar on I-35, traveled across northbound lanes, and came to rest against the center median divide. "While at the scene troopers observed that Brodkorb was not wearing a seatbelt and also detected an odor of intoxicants on his breath," the Lt. told KARE 11. Investigators are waiting on test results.

While troopers had listed the former Senate staffer in critical condition, Region's Hospital spokespeople sent out a statement explaining the family was requesting privacy and would not be releasing condition updates.

Senator Senjem said he had few details aside from the state patrol's initial report. "More recently I think Senator Koch listed him, or at least noted him as 'going to be okay.' So that's a wide range of differences," he said following a short floor session at the capitol.

"I don't know all the details. I certainly wish him the best of luck in healing," Republican Senator Warren Limmer of Maple Grove added.

That sentiment comes from both sides of the political aisle. Michael Brodkorb has long been known as a fiercely loyal Republican. "We have our rancorous moments on the floor that the public sees but I think generally there's a lot of respect and empathy for everybody here," DFL Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk said. "Whether it's a current staffer or a former staffer, I think there's always a little bit of anxiety when somebody is going through something difficult in their personal family and certainly related to their health."

GOP Senator Senjem agreed. "We're friends and people first. We may have difference along the way from the standpoint of what we feel about certain initiatives, but we're friends and people first. Again, I wish Michael well and hopefully (he has) a speedy recovery," he concluded.

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