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Iowa appeals ex-Gov. Branstad $1.5M discrimination verdict

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Kim Reynolds has appealed to the Iowa Supreme Court a jury verdict that concluded former Gov. Terry Branstad discriminated against a former state commissioner because the official is gay.

A jury in July awarded former Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner Chris Godfrey $1.5 million, finding he was the victim of discrimination and retaliation when Branstad tried to force him to quit in 2011 and then cut his pay.

Jurors found against Branstad, one of his staff members and the state.

Reynolds spokesman Pat Garrett said Friday that Reynolds made the decision after consulting with attorneys.

Branstad attorneys have argued the verdicts weren’t supported by substantial evidence and conflict with state law.

Reynolds says she believes the additional legal costs will be minimal and winning the appeal would save taxpayers millions of dollars.

Godfrey’s attorney Roxanne Conlin says appealing is “deeply dumb” because the best outcome for the state is the Supreme Court orders a new trial.

Associated Press

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