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Judge Says Ex-Culver Aide Didn't Break Ethics Rule

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) A judge says an aide to former Gov. Chet Culver didn't violate a state ethics law by filing a major environmental lawsuit against a Muscatine company after leaving government.

The Iowa City Press-Citizen says District Judge Mark Smith ruled Wednesday that attorney Jim Larew can pursue the case against Grain Processing Corp. even though he worked generally on matters related to GPC under Culver.

At issue is a law barring departing state employees from working on the same cases in the private sector for two years. Smith ruled lawmakers crafted the law so it wouldn't be broadly interpreted against former government employees such as Larew, a Culver aide when GPC faced state investigations.

Larew's now representing Muscatine residents suing GPC for damages for pollution from its corn milling plant.