Thursday, January 12, 2012

Gay Iowa worker's compensation comissioner files million-dollar lawsuit alleging defamation, harassment, sexual discrimination and extortion; GOP Gov. Branstad denies discriminating against him

Chris Godfrey, Iowa worker's
compensation commissioner
Jason Clayworth of the Des Moines Register reports that Chris Godfrey didn't quit when Republican Governor Branstad asked for his resignation, as well as those of almost all other state directors and appointees of predecessor Chet Culver after Branstad's 2010 election.

Godfrey's six-year term doesn't expire until 2015. His lawyer said Branstad "does not have the right to ask for the resignation of the workers’ compensation commissioner any more than he does to ask the resignation of any judge or a chief justice of the Supreme Court. There are rules about this, and he has blatantly broken them.”

To persuade Godfrey of the error of his ways, Branstad cut his salary by $35,000.
Soon after Godfrey’s pay cut, Branstad said on a radio show that the Iowa Association of Business and Industry pushed for Godfrey’s removal. Mike Ralston, the group’s president, told The Des Moines Register the next day that he was never involved in such conversations and was unaware of any staff member who had made such a request.
Godfrey alleges defamation, harassment, sexual discrimination and extortion by Branstad.

Tim Albrecht, Gov. Terry Branstad’s communications director, claimed in a statement that Branstad "does not discriminate against anyone on the basis of race, age, religion, gender or sexual orientation" and didn't know Godfrey was gay.

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