- Associated Press - Thursday, December 11, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A judge says a law firm can continue to defend Gov. Terry Branstad, several aides and the state against a discrimination lawsuit brought by a gay former state official.

Judge Brad McCall rejected a request Monday to remove attorney George LaMarca and two associates from the lawsuit by former Workers’ Compensation Commissioner Chris Godfrey.

Godfrey’s attorney Roxanne Conlin had sought their disqualification, arguing they had a conflict of interest because each defendant has a different legal interest.

McCall says that he sees no “significant risk” right now that conflicts exist that would justify the firm’s removal. He noted that Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and four aides being sued each attested that there was no conflict.

McCall says Godfrey can seek their disqualification later if he “discovers facts establishing” conflicts.

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