- Associated Press - Monday, June 15, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A judge is refusing to dismiss a lawsuit filed by an Iowa regulator who claims he was fired in retaliation for investigating a gas station’s misleading marketing practices.

District Judge Robert Hanson says Michael Manahl’s claims of whistleblower retaliation can proceed, rejecting the state’s motion to dismiss. He dismissed other claims, including an allegation that Manahl’s firing violated a law that gives hiring preferences to veterans.

Manahl was hired by Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey in 2012 to lead the weights and measures bureau, which inspects gasoline pumps. Soon, he accused Dubuque-based Molo Petroleum of charging different prices for the same gasoline product at its Big 10 Mart Convenience Stores.

Molo denied wrongdoing, and complained to Manahl’s superiors he was unfairly hurting its reputation. Manahl was fired during his probationary period.

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