The State of Iowa spent nearly $3.2 million over a decade in defense of former Governor Terry Branstad’s attempt to replace the state’s Workers Compensation Commissioner.

This month, state’s Executive Council approved the final payment of $371,000 to the Des Moines law firm that represented Branstad.

Iowa Workers Compensation Commissioner Christopher Godfrey filed a lawsuit in 2012. He accused Branstad of singling him out because he was gay, pressuring him to resign, then cutting his salary by a third when he refused . In 2019, a jury awarded Godfrey $1.5 million.

Two years later, the Iowa Supreme Court tossed out the jury’s verdict, ruling that there was no evidence to prove Branstad is “anti-gay.” Godfrey also alleged he was fired because business groups complained about his rulings on workers’ compensation cases. The Supreme Court ruled whether correct or not, Branstad was entitled to take that perception into consideration and ask Godfrey to resign before his term had ended.

Godfrey is now director of Workers’ Compensation Programs at the U.S. Department of Labor.