The separation deal between Michigan Governor Whitmer’s people and health department director Robert Gordon had a two-side confidentiality clause.
Detroit News laid out the backroom negotiations done with taxpayer money. A four-page agreement was signed on February 22nd: Robert Gordon gets nine months salary and healthcare benefits, and in return Gordon promised not to pursue any legal claims against the state.
The decision by both parties not to talk about details had a stated reasoning to it: "In response to any inquiries from prospective employers, employer will state that employee voluntarily resigned," according to the agreement.
The parties involved assert such secret dealings are standard legal practice. But not everyone in the state’s political sphere is satisfied with this explanation. One such person is state representative Matt Hall. He’s questioning as to why taxpayers are secluded from knowing what’s going on, even though it’s their money on the line in this situation. "The people of Michigan deserve to know what was going on here."
The timing of the situation struck many as off-key. Gordon’s January 22nd resignation came a matter of hours after Gordon signed an order lifting the suspension on indoor dining at Michigan restaurants. The former health department director was reportedly happy he did not have to show up at Whitmer’s press conference announcing the move, that day.
This is all of course another notch in the tally of the controversial Michigan governor's tenure as it relates to the pandemic. Which at times hit specifically bizarre partisan notes.