Gov. Terry E. Branstad today appointed Joe Cortese Iowa’s Workers’ Compensation Commissioner. Cortese will replace Michelle “Miki” McGovern, who had been serving as the acting Commissioner since September 2014.
“With over thirty years of experience in workers’ compensation, I’m confident Joe Cortese will serve as an independent and fair commissioner,” said Branstad. “I appreciate Miki’s service to the department and the state in the interim.”
The Workers’ Compensation Commissioner is the head of the Division of Workers’ Compensation which is part of Iowa Workforce Development. Workers’ compensation has the responsibility of administering, regulating, and enforcing the workers’ compensation laws. Though the workers’ compensation commissioner’s office cannot represent the interests of any party, the agency provides information regarding the provisions of the Workers’ Compensation Law, the rights of the parties, and the procedures the parties can follow to resolve their disputes.
Cortese practices workers’ compensation law at Huber, Book, Cortese & Lanz, where he is a partner. He has been with the firm, formerly Jones, Hoffman & Huber, since 1981. He has been a partner since 1985. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and earned his J.D. with honors from Drake Law School. He is a member of the Iowa State Bar Association, Polk County Bar Association, Iowa Association of Workers’ Compensation Attorneys, Iowa Defense Counsel Association, Defense Research Institute and a founding member of the American Academy of ADR Attorneys.
Cortese will assume the role of Commissioner effective February 16, 2015. His appointment is subject to Iowa Senate confirmation.