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Iowa Supreme Court Reinstates Claims In Lawsuit Against Branstad

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Supreme Court is reinstating parts of a lawsuit that claims Gov. Terry Branstad and five top aides mistreated the state workers’ compensation commissioner.

The court ruled Friday that a judge should decide whether Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and four aides can be sued individually by Workers’ Compensation Commissioner Christopher Godfrey.

Branstad cut Godfrey’s pay by $39,000 in 2011 after Godfrey refused demands to resign. Godfrey, who was appointed by Democrats, is serving a six-year term that expires next year.

Friday’s 5-2 decision overturns a judge’s ruling that Branstad and his aides could not be sued for defamation and other claims because the attorney general certified they were acting within the scope of their employment. Justice David Wiggins says a judge or jury should make that determination.

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