A law firm hired to defend Gov. Terry Branstad against a discrimination lawsuit has been paid $370,599 in state dollars to date, with no end in sight for the case.
The state hired Des Moines attorney George A. LaMarca last year, after Iowa Workers Compensation Commissioner Christopher Godfrey filed a lawsuit accusing Branstad and top staffers of discriminating against him because he's gay. Godfrey charges that the governor cut his salary by nearly $40,000 after he declined to resign.
A panel of state officials approved LaMarca's $325 hourly rate. LaMarca says the case merits taxpayer money because he's defending the rights of Branstad and future governors.
LaMarca says state law allows such salary reductions.
Godfrey declined to comment Tuesday on the attorney fees. He called the case a difficult situation.
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