Michigan Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer reportedly paid her state health department director, Robert Gordon, over $150,000 of taxpayer-funded monies after he suddenly resigned in a deal that requires both sides to maintain confidentiality about what led to his departure.
“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 paper continued.
In response to the news, the Michigan Republican Party called it “inexcusable,” asking, “What is Whitmer trying to hide.”
“Mr. 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 Fox News 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?”
In January, Whitmer repeatedly refused to answer questions about what led to Gordon’s abrupt resignation.
The news came as Republican lawmakers in the state have called for an investigation into Whitmer’s handling of nursing homes during the CCP Virus (coronavirus) pandemic.
“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,” state Sen. Jim Runestad (R-White Lake) wrote in letters sent to Michigan AG Dana Nessel and the Department of Justice.
“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,” the letters read.
The senators also pointed to “discrepancies” in cases and death data “in the state’s long-term care facilities.”
“It has now come to our attention that these reporting errors have likely not been resolved,” the Republicans said.
“And, due to reporting failures, there will be no accurate data on how many residents may have been harmed by the administration’s policies because there is no clear reporting path to document nursing home patient cases by the facility after a transfer takes place,” they added.