Judge Denies Request to Set Aside Verdict in Former Gov. Branstad’s Sexual Discrimination Lawsuit

Gov. Terry Branstad (WHO-HD)

JASPER COUNTY, Iowa — A district judge has rejected former Iowa governor Terry Branstad’s request to have a discrimination judgment thrown out.

In July, a jury found Branstad discriminated against former Iowa Worker’s Compensation Commissioner Chris Godfrey because he is openly gay.

When Branstad re-took office in 2011, he asked several department heads of state agencies appointed by his predecessor, Chet Culver, to resign.  Godfrey had two years left on his term and refused to step down. Branstad responded by slashing Godfrey’s salary by $40,000 per year.

The jury awarded Godfrey $1.5 million in the case.

Court records show on Tuesday, Judge Brad McCall rejected the challenge that the verdict was unsupported by substantial evidence.

After the ruling and court fees, Iowa taxpayers are now on the hook for $8 million.

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