Former Michigan health Director Robert Gordon testifies on resignation, $155K agreement

Gordon abruptly resigned in January

For the first time, lawmakers and Michiganders heard from former Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Director Robert Gordon about his abrupt resignation and the $155,000 severance deal that came with a now-lifted confidentiality agreement.

LANSING, Mich. – For the first time, lawmakers and Michiganders heard from former Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Director Robert Gordon about his abrupt resignation and the $155,000 severance deal that came with a now-lifted confidentiality agreement.

Gordon, who resigned in January, detailed that day, saying he was called to a meeting with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s staff and Whitmer attending via video.

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“When I arrived, I saw the governor and members of her staff, and she -- the governor -- said to me ‘Robert, I’m grateful for your service and I think it’s time to go in a new direction,’” he said.

Gordon’s deal has been described by Whitmer’s opponents as “hush money” or a “sweetheart deal.” One member of the committee Thursday called Gordon suspicious.

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But what started as claims of hush money when the deal was discovered has shifted to questioning whether the deal -- described by the governor as routine -- may have broken the law.

Despite Republicans and Democrats debating back and forth on the deal, Gordon said his time as director was an honor.

“I was honest. I was candid ... I always tried to do the right thing,” he said.


About the Authors:

Grant comes to Local 4 from Oklahoma City. He joins the news team as co-anchor of Local 4 News Today weekend mornings and is a general assignment reporter.

DeJanay Booth joined WDIV as a web producer in July 2020. She previously worked as a news reporter in New Mexico before moving back to Michigan.