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DES MOINES, Iowa — The state of Iowa and former Iowa Workforce Development Director, Teresa Wahlert are facing another lawsuit.

Attorneys for Susan Ackerman, an Administrative Law Judge for IWD, filed the lawsuit Tuesday morning.  It claims civil rights violations and defamation of character.

Ackerman objected to Wahlert’s decision in 2013 to lay off Joe Walsh, another former ALJ.  Walsh is also suing the State and Wahlert, claiming he was illegally fired because he objected to Wahlert’s alleged pro-business stance in unemployment appeals cases.

Wahlert, who abruptly retired on Friday, has been accused of trying to influence the ALJ’s rulings and creating a hostile work environment.

Ackerman was among six ALJ’s to testify before the Legislative Oversight Committee last year.  She told lawmakers morale is low at IWD and that the ALJ’s “have been powerless to stop what’s happening.”