WCCO: Koch Allegedly Had Inappropriate Relationship With Staffer, Plus Other GOP Bad News [UPDATED]

WCCO’s Pat Kessler is reporting that Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch resigned her post Thursday after she was confronted by GOP Senate leaders about allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a Senate staffer, according to high level State Capitol sources.

This would be a sad ending to the story, if true.  Although I can’t say I agreed with Senator Koch on many issues, she was a capable leader of the Senate Caucus and seemingly had built a strong relationship with Governor Mark Dayton.

[UPDATE, 2:55 Friday]:  Headline updated to reflect the fact that the relationship is alleged at this point.

An interesting note from the WCCO story is that four Senators apparently confronted Koch on Wednesday.  One has to wonder if Chanhassen’s Julianne Ortman was one of them.  Ortman, as chair of the Tax Committee was an important leader in the caucus.

[UPDATE #2, 3:10 p.m.]:  At a Capitol press conference, it is reported that the four Senators in the meeting with Koch were Sen. Geoff Michel, Sen. David Hann, Sen. David Senjem, and Sen. Chris Gerlach.  Gerlach says Koch did not admit or deny the relationship.

[UPDATE #3, 3:30 p.m.]:  Michel reports that the staffer allegedly involved is a direct report.

Also, it’s interesting to note the very real divergence between what was said yesterday and what was being said today.  Even though Sen. Hann was in the meeting with Koch on Wednesday, he said yesterday that the resignation was a “total surprise”, even though the four Senators in the meeting all reported today that Koch brought the topic up.

Koch, as well, chose to provide a spinned account of events as well, saying that there was no hidden agenda behind her decision.  But, I guess that’s not really a surprise — that’s the pattern for politicians of all stripes who get caught in this sort of thing.

[UPDATE #4, 4:00 p.m.]:  The rough day for the GOP gets rougher.  Party Chair candidate Brandon Sawalich was arrested yesterday for having a vehicle with expired tabs.  Today, he withdrew from the race after it was revealed the AP was pursuing allegations of a sexual harrassment claim that Sawalich settled in 2003.

Meanwhile, U.S. Senate candidate Joe Arwood revealed he was convicted in 2005 of attempting to go through airport security with a loaded handgun.

And, State Senator Mike Parry is planning a press conference later this hour.  Parry is running for the U.S House in District 1 and his campaign manager is Michael Brodkorb, who also works as the Executive Assistant to the Senate GOP Majority Caucus.

[UPDATE #5, 6:20 p.m.]:  Sen. Parry canceled his press conference.

[UPDATE #6, 9:15 p.m.]:  MPR is reporting that Michael Brodkorb is no longer employed by the GOP Senate Caucus.

[UPDATE #7, Saturday 3:40 p.m.]:  Brodkorb has left the Parry campaign, per the Pioneer Press.



  1. On Amy Koch and Michael Brodkorb | Tangled Up in Blue Guy - December 17, 2011

    […] WCCO’s Kessler: Koch Allegedly Had Inappropriate Relationship With Senate Staffer [UPDATED] (brickcity.wordpress.com) […]

  2. Brodkorb’s blog goes from boring to lazy | Brick City Blog - October 5, 2012

    […]  After all, Brodkorb was highly influential in the Minnesota Republican Party until his dalliances with Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch got himself fired and ended (for now) her political career. […]

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