State government notebook: Dayton cancels schedule after hurting hip

By Don Davis

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is canceling this week’s public appearances after a weekend hip injury.

In a written explanation of what happened, Dayton said he slipped on stairs at his official residence Saturday en route to a Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party event.

“I took the bottom two steps together, landed on my left leg and pivoted toward the hallway,” he wrote. “Suddenly, I felt and heard a loud ‘pop’ in front of my left hipbone, followed by a spasm of pain. The problem was more than the pain, though. I couldn’t walk normally.”

Dayton, 66, said that after a day of rest Sunday, he was checked at the Mayo Clinic on Monday and found that a left hip muscle was torn and detached.

“It is not a major muscle; but it is a weight-bearing and stabilizing muscle, which explains my instability, which will persist until other muscles are trained to take over its functions,” he said.

The governor said he needs to use a cane or crutch for a couple of weeks and to return to Mayo if there is no improvement.

Dayton’s office said he will not appear at any public events the rest of the week. He appeared to be having a hard time walking when he hosted a ceremony Tuesday noting the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

The governor was at Mayo for back surgery last December, which kept him grounded a month.

More money OK’d

The Minnesota Senate Rules Committee approved $500,000 more to pay legal bills in a lawsuit filed by a former staffer.

The action Wednesday was not intended to provide funds for a settlement, said Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook.

The suit was filed by Michael Brodkorb, who the Senate fired in December 2011 after it was discovered he and then-Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, R-Buffalo, had an affair.

Brodkorb claims in his lawsuit that female Senate employees who had affairs with senators have not been fired. He claims gender discrimination.

The $500,000 the committee earmarked for potential legal costs Wednesday comes on top of nearly $230,000 the Senate already has paid to defend itself. Trial in the case is planned for a year from now.

Bakk said he did not know if the $500,000 is enough to fund the Senate legal team through the trial.

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