05/08/2013 11:58 am ET

Michele Bachmann Reportedly Negotiating Settlement In Iowa Lawsuit

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is negotiating a settlement in a lawsuit over the alleged theft of an Iowa email list, the Star Tribune reported Wednesday.

Barb Heki, who worked as a campaign aide during Bachmann's 2012 presidential run, sued the congresswoman and other top campaign aides last July, claiming that Iowa campaign chairman State Sen. Kent Sorenson had stolen an email list of Christian home-school advocates from her computer in 2011 and used the list to promote Bachmann's candidacy.

The AP reported:

Heki, who lives in Johnston, claims in the lawsuit that Sorenson took a database from her private computer in November that contained names and contact information, including email addresses, of thousands of Iowa families who were part of the Iowa home-school network on whose board she served. Heki said she had told Sorenson months earlier that she would not provide the list to the campaign.

When an email from the campaign was sent to members of the network in November, Heki was named in media reports as providing the list. She was later removed from the boards of the Iowa network and a related national network of home-school advocates on which she served.

According to the Star Tribune, Bachmann reportedly met with Heki's lawyers in Des Moines, Iowa on Monday. Details have yet to emerge from the reported talks.

The alleged email list theft has returned to the spotlight as Sorenson's role in Bachmann's campaign has come under scrutiny. An Iowa ethics investigation is currently probing whether Sorenson accepted payment from Bachmann's political action committee, which would put him in violation of a rule barring state senators from accepting such funds, as well as the matter of the email list.

In a sworn affidavit last fall, Bachmann adviser Eric Woolson said Sorenson admitted taking the email list from Heki.

"We took it," Woolson said Sorenson told him.

Sorenson has publicly denied taking the list. The campaign later negotiated a $2,000 payment with the home school advocacy group to rent the email list.



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