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Former Iowa governor asks judge to toss $1.5M jury verdict

July 31, 2019

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The lawyer for former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has asked a judge to set aside a jury verdict that concluded Branstad discriminated against a gay former state official.

Jurors on July 15 awarded former Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner Chris Godfrey $1.5 million, concluding he was the victim of discrimination and retaliation when Branstad tried to force him to quit in 2011 and then cut his pay.

Branstad’s attorney Frank Harty says in a motion filed Wednesday that the judge should either dismiss the lawsuit or order a new trial.

Harty says the verdicts are unsupported by substantial evidence and are contrary to law.

He calls the case “a political circus with the court serving as ring master.”

Godfrey’s attorney Roxanne Conlin says the issues were thoroughly dealt with during the trial and re-litigating them at the trial court level would be a waste of time and money.

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