House committee subpoenas former MDHHS chief to learn about resignation

Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — Former Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon is now under a subpoena to appear before the state House Oversight Committee to talk about the circumstances of his resignation.

When Gordon left unexpectedly and with no explanation in January, questions immediately surfaced about why. Word then broke that he was paid $155,000 in severance and that he signed a nondisclosure agreement that didn’t allow him or Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to comment on the circumstances about his departure. Republicans called it hush money. Even after the confidentiality clause was dropped, Whitmer and Gordon have still not talked about what happened.

Now the House Oversight Committee will try to get some answers. State Rep. Pat Outman, R-Six Lakes, a member of the committee, laid out the case for the subpoena during a Thursday morning hearing:

“I think lack of transparency has been a huge issue for Michigan’s government, particularly with this administration,” he said. “We have a duty within our oversight function of the Legislature to look into some of these transparency issues and to hold folks accountable and to get some answers and I think we owe it to the residents of our districts and the state of Michigan to do so and look forward to doing that here today.”

Whether Gordon will comply or when he might testify is unknown. Even if he does appear it is unclear what, if anything, Gordon will tell lawmakers.

The oversight committee also heard testimony Thursday on MDHHS coronavirus mandates, specifically about high school sports guidelines and testing.

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