Governor Terry Branstad talked during a stop in Sioux City today about the lawsuit filed against him by the Iowa Workers Compensation Commissioner. Commissioner Chris Godfrey is accusing Branstad of discrimination after the governor cut his salary by more than $30,000.
Godfrey says he was discriminated against because he is gay, but the governor said it has to do with Godfrey’s job performance. “We have a number of court cases where they’ve said the workers comp commissioner is biased against business, and Iowa has always had relatively low cost for workers comp and they are going the wrong direction,” Branstad said. “I wanted to chose a new director, he refused to resign.”
Branstad said after Godfrey refused to resign, he used his authority as governor to cut Godfrey’s pay. “Because we’re not satisfied with his job performance, I have a range that I can set what the salary is, and I moved the salary to the low end of the range, which I have the authority to do,” Branstad said.
Godfrey’s salary was cut from about $109,000 to $73,000. Godfrey was appointed by former Democratic Governor Tom Vilsack. Branstad made his comments during an appearance on KSCJ radio in Sioux City.
By Wood Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City