Reynolds Dropped From Suit Filed Over Alleged Discrimination

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has been dropped from a lawsuit that could cost the state millions of dollars in a case alleging former Gov. Terry Branstad and others singled out a former state official for a pay cut because of his political party or sexual orientation.

The lawsuit filed by former Workers’ Compensation Commissioner Chris Godfrey in 2012 is set for a June 3 trial in Des Moines.

The lawsuit names Branstad, members of his 2010-2011 staff and former Iowa Workforce Development Director Teresa Wahlert.

Godfrey, who is gay and a Democrat, says he was discriminated and retaliated against, and his constitutional rights to due process and equal protection were violated in 2011 when Branstad slashed Godfrey’s pay after he wouldn’t resign.

Documents filed Wednesday by Godfrey’s attorney, Roxanne Conlin, indicate the state could be on the hook for millions of dollars in damages and attorney fees but the final amount will be up to jurors to decide.

Conlin says Reynolds had little to do with the issues of the case, and dismissing her was a strategic decision.