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Associated Press, Published January 24 2013

Former Minnesota Senate staffer Brodkorb critically injured in crash

MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn. — An aide who was fired over his affair with the Minnesota Senate's majority leader crashed on a highway near St. Paul and was critically injured, authorities said Thursday.

Michael Brodkorb's car struck the wall of a bridge along Interstate 35E in Mendota Heights about 9 p.m. Wednesday and stopped against a concrete median barrier, the State Patrol said in its accident report.

Patrol spokesman Lt. Eric Roeske said a trooper who responded to the crash smelled alcohol on Brodkorb's breath, but the results of a urine test to determine his blood alcohol content weren't expected for at least two weeks.

Brodkorb, 39, of Eagan, was not wearing a seat belt, according to the accident report. He was taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul in critical condition, according to an accident report. Hospital spokeswoman Kristen Kaufmann said she had no information on Brodkorb and couldn't confirm he was still there.

Brodkorb was a communications aide to Senate Republicans. He was fired in 2011 after an affair with then-Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch. He is suing the state, with claims including gender discrimination, arguing female staffers involved in affairs in the past were not similarly fired.

Senate lawyers contend Brodkorb was an at-will employee who could be let go at any time.

Once seen as a rising GOP star, Koch quietly served out the final year of her term and did not seek re-election in November.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.