JASPER COUNTY, Iowa — Former workers compensation commissioner Chris Godfrey has won his discrimination lawsuit against the state of Iowa and former Governor Terry Branstad.
Godfrey filed the lawsuit in 2012 saying he was retaliated against by Branstad, including slashing his pay, because he is openly gay.
When Branstad re-took office in 2011, he asked numerous department heads of state agencies appointed by his predecessor, Chet Culver, to resign. Godfrey was serving as the state’s workers compensation commissioner at the time. He had two years left on his term and refused to step down. Branstad responded to that refusal by slashing Godfrey’s salary by $40,000 per year.
A jury agreed on all counts Monday, awarding Godfrey $1.5 million.
“I knew once [the jury] heard the evidence, they would be supportive of the claims and I’m thrilled that my family has justice,” said Godfrey.