Second trial begins in group of Iowa bias claims

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The second trial alleging the state allowed discrimination against black workers at Iowa Workforce Development begins Wednesday.

Attorneys for the state want the lead attorney representing a black woman who was fired in 1999 removed from the case.

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller’s office is asking a judge to remove Thomas Newkirk from the lawsuit in which Newkirk’s client, Tereasa Jefferson, alleges the state discriminated against her.

The state says Newkirk could be a witness, disqualifying him from representing Jefferson.

A judge will consider the issue Wednesday prior to the beginning of the trial.

Jefferson’s trial is the second of four discrimination cases pending against the state.

In the first, a jury awarded Dorothea Polk $130,000, finding Iowa Workforce Development officials retaliated against her after she filed a discrimination complaint.

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