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State auditor, treasurer reject payments in Branstad case

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A group of top state officials has approved payments of nearly $400,000 to continue a lawsuit defending former Gov. Terry Branstad. A jury found in July he discriminated against former Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner Chris Godfrey because he is gay and awarded him $1.5 million. State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald and Auditor Rob Sand refused to approve the payment. They say taxpayers shouldn’t continue paying. Gov. Kim Reynolds, Secretary of State Paul Pate and Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig approved the bills, bringing total court costs to more than $8 million, which will climb since Reynolds is appealing the case.

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