Gov. Whitmer, former MDHHS director agree to waive confidentiality agreement

Robert Gordon abruptly resigned as MDHHS director in January

Gov. Whitmer, ex-health director Robert Gordon agree to waive confidentiality
Gov. Whitmer, ex-health director Robert Gordon agree to waive confidentiality

LANSING, Mich. – Weeks after Robert Gordon’s sudden resignation from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, it was revealed the former director had signed a confidentiality agreement as part of his severance package.

After bipartisan blasting of the secrecy, that clause has been removed and all parties are free to talk about why he left so quickly.

In a letter to lawmakers, Gordon hinted at behind-the-scenes disagreements between himself and the Governor’s office.

“On occasion, there were robust conversations about policy issues where reasonable people could disagree and did,” Gordon wrote. “This was healthy: the stakes were life and death, and different people have different roles.”

In his letter, Gordon didn’t give any specific details and only said that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s plan during the pandemic saved lives.

“I was honored to play a part in that work,” Gordon wrote. “Governor Whitmer deserves a health director with whom she is comfortable.”

The letter was released hours after Whitmer’s office confirmed both sides were agreeing to end the confidentiality surrounding Gordon’s resignation and $155,000 payout.

Since Gordon’s resignation, Republicans have called for an investigation into the state’s nursing home policy in the early days of the pandemic and pointed to Gordon’s separation as evidence of wrong doing.

Whitmer’s office said they waived confidentiality in the interest of transparency and was supposed to be available at the unveiling of Ford Field’s vaccination plan. She left without answering any questions.


About the Authors: