Friday, April 06, 2012

How is Michael Brodkorb like an English crumpet?

Strib photo
According to my dad, who spent some time enjoying English hospitality before taking a boat ride to the Continent a little later in the 40s, who told me when I was a kid that when you took a bite of a crumpet, the more you chewed it, the bigger it got, until you just swallowed it before it swallowed you.

It sounds like a rather menacing food, doesn't it? I don't know if Dad was pulling my leg, but I liked the story then and like the metaphor here.

The more Cal Ludeman and the Senate leadership chew on Michael Brodkorb, the bigger he gets, too. In addition to threatning suit for wrongful termination and claiming $500,000 or more, now he's going to bring a second suit for a similar amount for defamation:
Former Minnesota Senate employee Michael Brodkorb on Thursday formally warned the Senate majority leader that he plans to sue the Senate for defamation and demand damages of more than $500,000, according to documents provided to the Star Tribune. 
Brodkorb's new claim is that Senate Secretary Cal Ludeman defamed him when he told the press that Brodkorb was trying to "blackmail" and "extort payment from the Senate" through his legal case for wrongful termination. Brodkorb was fired in the wake of Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch's resignation from the leadership after senators confronted her about the affair she was having with him.
Here's Cal on receiving the news:
A lot of Brodkorb detractors have been pooh poohing his claims against Senate. That's a mistake. Neither the wrongful termination nor the defamation claims are laughers.

There is no reason that a man cannot make out case for disparate treatment vis-a-vis other opposite gender employees. Especially when the employer's stories about the termination lack credibility. First, Cal says it was for no reason at all -- just got tired of having him around. Now is abundantly clear it was for an affair with his boss, Amy Koch.

Once Cal and the Senate's credibility is toast, it's hard to make it bread again.

The defamation claim seems like a pretty good one, too. Cal, an employee of the Senate and someone authorized to speak for the Senate on these matters, called Brodkorb a crook. That 's defamation per se. If it isn't true -- and certainly doesn't seem to be here; there are no sheriff's deputies knocking on Brodkorb's door -- defamation is presumed to have occurred. There's plenty of malice about, too, don't you think? Now it's just a matter of figuring out what it's worth. And whether punitive damages are in order, too. (There may be limitations on punitive damages against the state itself; I haven't researched the issue.)

This development (the defamation suit) might highlight Cal's conflict in continuing to manage negotiations and litigation against Brodkorb. After all, he is playing with house money -- actually the Senate's -- in protecting himself, too. But somebody will be thinking soon, if they haven't already, about whether the Senate and Cal Ludeman have the same set of interests, or whether Cal owes the Senate money (by way of indemnity or contribution) for his own actions and his share of production costs of this farce.

If Mike can get his lawyers off the dime, some of these issues might to clear up.

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