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Supreme Court: Lawsuit against Branstad can proceed


This news story was published on June 7, 2014.
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Godfrey

Godfrey

DES MOINES – The Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday that a lawsuit brought against Governor Terry Branstad and others by a fired gay former state employee may proceed.

The lawsuit, brought by state worker’s compensation commissioner Christopher Godfrey, alleges defamation and extortion by Branstad and members of his staff and that they wanted him to resign because he’s gay.  Godfrey is represented by Roxanne Conlin of Des Moines. He seeks $1 million.  The Branstad administration has denied Godfrey’s claim.

Conlin was quote as saying, after the ruling, that “The governor was trying to interfere with judicial independence. Chris Godfrey is workers compensation commissioner, he decides cases on the basis of facts and law and not, not the basis of his political party.”

The court’s 5-2 decision overturned a lower court ruling that said Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds are immune to litigation.  Justice David Wiggins wrote in the decision that a judge or jury should decide the case.

Iowa Supreme Court

Iowa Supreme Court

According to records, Godfrey was appointed to his post in 2006 by former Gov. Tom Vilsack. Former Gov. Chet Culver re-appointed Godfrey to a six-year term in 2009 and the Iowa Senate unanimously confirmed the appointment.

The lawsuit was brought in 2o12. Godfrey claimed that Branstad and others pressured him to resign while his salary was cut by $36,000.

According to reports, the state hired attorney George A. LaMarca of Des Moines at an hourly rate of $325. Taxpayers have doled out over $400,000 to his law firm in defending Branstad and five of his top aides in this case.

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2 Responses to Supreme Court: Lawsuit against Branstad can proceed

  1. Robinman Reply Report comment

    June 10, 2014 at 10:42 pm

    From a business standpoint this guy is a liability. He should be forced to pay the legal fees from his salery.

  2. Nature Boy Reply Report comment

    June 8, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    Hehe, Braindead is getting sued because of his hate. Gotta love dat!