ST. PAUL, Minn., March 6 (UPI) -- Former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton, D-Minn., has been criticized because of his unusual defense in a lawsuit against him by a former congressional aide.
The suit against Dayton claims he fired Brad Hanson, 54, because of his heart condition, The Washington Times reported Thursday.
"Hanson alleges that when he informed Senator Dayton, on July 3, 2002, that he needed cardiac surgery, the senator responded by saying, 'You're done,'" court documents said.
It is reported that Dayton first argued that he was protected from the suit by the Constitution's Speech or Debate Clause, the Times' report said. Dayton reportedly made a surprising turn in his defense tactics when he argued that he could not currently be sued for events that happened when he was in office.
Letting Dayton off the hook because he is out of office "would render the protections (granted by the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995) wholly illusory and defeat the goals of the (law)," two lawmakers told the Times.
A date hasn't been set for a hearing on the suit.