The state official who filed a lawsuit, charging Governor Branstad targeted him for dismissal because he is gay, has a new job in Washington, D.C. Iowa Worker’s Compensation Commissioner Christopher Godfrey has been appointed chief judge of a federal board the decides employee compensation appeals.
In 2009, former Democratic Governor Chet Culver appointed Godfrey to a six-year term as commissioner of the state bureau in charge of deciding workers compensation appeals. After Republican Governor Terry Branstad took office in 2011, Branstad’s top aides asked Godfrey to resign. When Godfrey wouldn’t, Godfrey’s salary was cut by $36,000.
Godfrey filed two lawsuits — one in state court and one in federal court — accusing the Branstad Administration of sexual discrimination and extortion. A federal judge recently ruled the case should be decided by an Iowa court.
Godfrey’s last day as a state official is August 21 and he starts his federal job on August 25. He is not dropping the lawsuit against Branstad.