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Defamation Case Against Branstad on Hold
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A judge has placed on hold a federal lawsuit filed against Gov. Terry Branstad and five of his staff members by Iowa Workers' Compensation Commissioner Christopher Godfrey. The court says Godfrey's lawsuit in state court should be allowed to proceed first.
Godfrey, who is gay, alleges he was discriminated against based on his sexual orientation and defamed by Branstad and staff.
Godfrey was appointed by Democratic Gov. Chet Culver in 2009 but asked to resign after Branstad took office in 2011. Godfrey declined and Branstad cut his pay by $39,000.
Judge James Gritzner says in his ruling published Friday important state issues must be decided in the case requiring it to be tried in state court first.
He preserves the federal lawsuit if the state case doesn't provide adequate relief.
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