SAINT PAUL, Minn.– Minnesota State Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch (R) has resigned her leadership post amid allegations of an “inappropriate relationship” with a Senate staffer.
Koch, who is is married with one child, has been one of the leading proponents of Minnesota’s 2012 ballot initiative aimed at amending the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage.
At a hastily called news conference Friday afternoon after news of the alleged relationship was published online, Deputy Majority Leader Geoff Michel of Edina, who took over as interim leader after Koch stepped down, said the senators decided to confront Koch after hearing complaints in the past several weeks from “multiple sources” that the alleged relationship was interfering with the Senate work environment.
The situation raises “potential legal risk” for the Senate, he said.
Those bringing complaints did not describe the relationship as sexual, Michel said, and the senators did not characterize it that way when they broached the subject with Koch.
“In the end, there’s probably only two people who really know what kind of relationship and how long that may have been happening, but it certainly had risen to a level within our Senate family that people were coming to us,” he said.
Michel has been named Interim Senate Majority Leader until a replacement an be elected.
Koch has neither admitted nor denied the allegations — she has said she will not seek re-election in 2012, but has not indicated if she will resign from the Senate prior to her term ending.