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Judge to Testify Before Senate Panel

DES MOINES, IA (AP) -- The Senate Government Oversight Committee is calling judges who decide Iowa unemployment cases to testify in an investigation into alleged abuse of power at Iowa Workforce Development.   

Former Chief Administrative Law Judge Joe Walsh is the first witness to appear Tuesday. He's filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the state claiming the agency's director, Teresa Wahlert, laid him off after he opposed her efforts to change his job to a political appointment and to favor employers over workers in unemployment decisions.   

The committee has for months been investigating allegations of a hostile work environment at state agencies, questionable hiring practices and misallocation of funds in Gov. Terry Branstad's administration.   

Branstad, a Republican, says the committee run by Senate Democrats is motivated by politics.

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