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Jury Finds Retaliation In Iowa Bias Trial

DES MOINES (AP) -- A Polk County jury has awarded a black woman $130,000, finding that Iowa Workforce Development officials retaliated against her after she filed a complaint with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission.

The jury found Thursday that 52-year-old Dorothea Polk was the subject of retaliation when she was fired from her a job as a clerk in 2006. The jury didn't find racial discrimination.

The trial is the first of four cases involving workers fired from jobs at Iowa Workforce Development between 1999 and 2006.

The plaintiffs' lawyers, Thomas Newkirk and Leonard Bates, argue a culture of discrimination and retaliation existed under the agency's then-human resources director, Jackie Mallory, who was fired in 2006.

The Iowa attorney general's office, representing the state, says race was never a factor in Polk's employment decisions.

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