Court to Hear Iowa Workers’ Comp Commissioner’s Defamation Lawsuit

February 26, 2014

The Iowa Supreme Court has set a date to hear arguments in a lawsuit filed by the state’s workers’ compensation commissioner against Gov. Terry Branstad.

Justices say they’ll hear attorney arguments at 7 p.m. March 4 in the Supreme Court Courtroom in Des Moines. The unusual evening session gives Iowa residents unable to attend regular court sessions a chance to watch the court in action.

Chris Godfrey was first appointed by Democratic Gov. Tom Vilsack in 2006. His term expires next year.

His lawsuit claims violation of his constitutional rights, defamation, and intentional interference with his contract.

Branstad asked for Godfrey’s resignation then cut his salary to $73,000 from $112,000 when he refused to quit.

Godfrey says Branstad, a Republican, wants to get rid of him because he’s gay.

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