Settlement still best option for taxpayers

We have received notice that we erred in our editorial of Thursday, calling on Senate Republicans to settle with Michael Brodkorb. Brodkorb’s suit is against the Minnesota Senate as a whole, and it is DFLers as well as Republicans who are choosing to contest the issue. It was the Senate Rules Committee, headed by Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk (DFL), that voted Wednesday to pay the latest batch of legal bills, and Bakk who said the Senate has a $500,000 fund to use for legal defense. Bakk was quoted as saying he was inclined not to settle out of court, that there was no wrongdoing. His Republican counterpart, agrees, saying, “We did the right thing for the right reasons.”

We stand corrected, but we also stand with the opinion that settlement is the preferable option for Minnesota taxpayers. The Senate’s $500,000 legal fund came from where? From the taxpayers. The cost of continuing legal fees is being paid by the taxpayers. Any damages, if the suit is successful, will be paid by the taxpayers.

Settling the lawsuit will not be an admission of guilt. The civil courts are full of lawsuits settled where the defendants do not admit guilt, where the suits are settle for fiscal expediency, where the cost of settling is cheaper than the cost of going through a court trial.

The Senate should think of the taxpayers in this case, and settle.

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