News and Commentary

‘What Is Whitmer Trying To Hide?’: Whitmer’s Health Director Got Payout In Confidential Deal After Resignation
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer speaks during a mobilization event at Belle Isle Casino in Detroit, Michigan, with former US President Barack Obama and Democratic Presidential candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden, on October 31, 2020.
JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

Michigan Democrat Governor Gretchen Whitmer gave a large taxpayer-funded payout to her state health department director shortly after he resigned in a deal that requires both sides to maintain confidentiality about what led to his resignation.

“The agreement is the clearest evidence yet that the split between Gordon, a central figure in the state’s response to COVID-19, and Whitmer was not amicable, and it shows the Democratic administration used taxpayer funds to ease his departure,” The Detroit News reported. “On Feb. 22, one month after Gordon resigned without explanation, he and Mark Totten, Whitmer’s chief lawyer, signed the four-page agreement. The state agreed to pay Gordon a total that represents nine months of salary and health benefits, and he released the state from any potential legal claims.”

The Michigan Republican Party responded to the news by calling it “inexcusable,” and asking, “What is @GovWhitmer trying to hide?”

Top state-level Republicans sounded the alarm over the move in statements provided to Fox News.

“We’re still investigating the things the Whitmer Administration has done during COVID in plain sight, when we find out about a secret payoff behind closed doors,” state Rep. Steve Johnson, chair of the Michigan House Oversight Committee, said. “While it doesn’t surprise me, the deception is shocking and shows how badly this Administration needs oversight so they can be held to account.”

“Robert Gordon was the state’s health director and played an instrumental role in the state’s COVID-19 response,” Ted Goodman, spokesman for the Michigan GOP, told The Daily Wire in a statement. “Michigan taxpayers deserve to know the circumstances surrounding the resignation of Mr. Gordon in the middle of a public health crisis. Why is Gov. Whitmer refusing to explain this secret deal?”

Rep. Matt Hall, R-Marshall, said that he was “stunned” by the news, adding, “The people of Michigan deserve to know what was going on here.”

The story comes as Republican lawmakers in the state have called for an investigation into Whitmer’s handling of nursing homes during the coronavirus pandemic.

Michigan State Sen. Jim Runestad (R-White Lake) sent letters to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and the U.S. Department of Justice demanding an investigation.

“Gov. Whitmer’s regional hub policy placed patients with and without COVID-19 in the same facilities and may have exacerbated the death toll in those facilities,” Runestad said. “Questions remain regarding the accuracy of data, compliance with CDC guidelines and compliance with our state’s Freedom of Information Act. There is a critical need for a full investigation into these matters.”

“Michiganders understand there are many, many similarities between Gov. Whitmer’s handling of the virus and Gov. Cuomo’s: their unilateral overreach (both struck down by the courts), their allusion to vague metrics and data, their questionable vaccine distribution plans, and their outright defiance to losing their emergency powers,” Runestad added. “The alarming similarities with New York raise serious questions about what really happened in Michigan.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  ‘What Is Whitmer Trying To Hide?’: Whitmer’s Health Director Got Payout In Confidential Deal After Resignation