Judge OKs $3.1M lawyer fees in Branstad discrimination case

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP)- A judge has approved a payment of $3.1 million for lawyers representing a former state official that a jury found was discriminated against by former Gov. Terry Branstad.

The judge approved the amount in an order filed Friday for Roxanne Conlin and her team who won former Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner Chris Godfrey a $1.5 million verdict.

Branstad, now U.S. ambassador to China, was found to have discriminated and retaliated against Godfrey in 2011 because he’s gay.

Taxpayers have paid $2.9 million for Branstad’s attorneys and will pay Conlin’s fees if the state loses a pending Iowa Supreme Court appeal.