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Former MDHHS director’s severance pay is raising questions, Robert Gordon provides statement

After he stepped down, the governor thanked him for his leadership during what she called “unimaginable circumstances.”
Former MDHHS Director Robert Gordon.
Former MDHHS Director Robert Gordon.(State of Michigan)
Published: Mar. 2, 2021 at 6:22 AM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The former director of the state health department will receive $155,000 in severance after stepping down from the position in January.

Robert Gordon resigned after the Michigan Supreme Court shot down many of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders to reduce COVID-19 in the state. Gordon then issued the same mandates under state laws, which prompted protests outside his home.

On March 2, Gordon shared a public statement.

“I’ve served in government a long time, and I believe that elected chief executives need to make final decisions about policy with confidential advice. They also need to be comfortable with their agency heads. Since the pandemic began, many leadership changes have happened in other states. It’s no surprise they would happen in Michigan.”

Robert Gordon

After he stepped down, the governor thanked him for his leadership during what she called “unimaginable circumstances.”

The agreement for $155,506.05 is dated Feb. 22 and is signed by Gordon and Mark Totten, chief legal counsel for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Republicans are calling for Whitmer to reverse the use of state tax dollars to pay for the separation and confidentiality agreement.

Rep. Matt Hall (R-Emmett) led a special COVID-19 committee during the last legislative session. “I was stunned to hear Robert Gordon signed a taxpayer-funded hush-money agreement after his departure from the Whitmer administration,” said Hall. “It raises questions about what Gov. Whitmer is trying to keep quiet about her administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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