LANSING, Mich. — Former Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon and Governor Gretchen Whitmer have agreed to waive a confidentiality clause in a controversial separation agreement.
Gordon abruptly resigned from the role on Jan. 22. and was replaced by Elizabeth Hertel, the current MDHHS director.
Today, I am resigning from the Whitmer Administration. It's been an honor to serve alongside wonderful colleagues. I look forward to the next chapter.— Robert Gordon (@robertmgordon) January 22, 2021
MDHHS: Only severance deal requiring confidentiality is Gordon’s
Whitmer says severance deals are common, but other top staff left without them
Ex-health director gets $155,000 in separation agreement
Gov. Whitmer announces new MDHHS director after Robert Gordon abruptly resigns
Gordon received more than $155,000 as part of a separation agreement with the governor's office, which Governor Gretchen Whitmer has received backlash for.
Amidst pressure from Republican lawmakers to ban the practice of using non-disclosure agreements, Whitmer issued a directive that protected the practice going forward.
The governor's office and Gordon agreed to waive the confidentiality clause for "the sake of greater transparency."
Gordon was asked to appear before the House Oversight Committee to testify. In lieu of testimony, Gordon sent a letter to House Oversight Committee Chair Steven Johnson. In the letter, Gordon acknowledged there were "reasonable" disagreements about policy issues during his tenure as MDHHS director. He described the disagreements as "healthy," as the stakes were "life and death."
"The evidence is clear that Governor Whitmer's actions have saved thousands of lives," Gordon said. "I was honored to play a part in that work."
Read the full letter below: