DES MOINES, IOWA -- Iowa Workers Compensation Commission Chris Godfrey has filed a million dollar lawsuit against Gov. Terry Branstad, claiming he was "bullied" and that his salary was cut because he is gay and refused to leave.
Godfrey's attorney told the Des Moines Register that when Branstad took office, he asked Godfrey to resign. It's common for governors to try to sweep out the old regime, but Godfrey's position is legally insulated from such action, and his term wasn't set to expire until 2015.
Godfrey's salary was then cut from $109,000 to $73,000.
Branstad's office told the Register Godfrey was targeted because he was doing a poor job and worker's compensation costs were going up, causing a burden on Iowa taxpayers.
Godfrey said he's gotten "exceeds expectations" marks on every job review since he started.
Branstad's office also denied discriminating against Godfrey because he's gay.
"Governor Branstad does not discriminate against anyone on the basis of race, age, religion, gender or sexual orientation," a spokesperson said in a statement. "He did not know that Christopher Godfrey was gay until Mr. Godfrey stated so in his claim. Governor Branstad's record over the last 30 years, both as governor and as the president of Des Moines University, has shown Iowans that he believes a person's sexual orientation does not affect his or her ability to do a good job."