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Politics & Government

Former Michigan Health Director Refuses To Testify In Front Of State Oversight Committee

Representative Steve Johnson

Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the former head of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services have waived a confidentiality clause included in the director’s separation agreement. In a letter to the Michigan House Oversight Committee Thursday, Robert Gordon confirmed the confidentiality clause had been waived, but declined to testify before the committee.

Gordon abruptly resigned in January without much explanation.


Republican State Representative Steve Johnson chairs the House Oversight Committee. He said he finds Gordon's actions of transparency disingenuous.


"I don’t understand what the point is of allowing someone to talk and then having that person refuse to talk. That doesn’t make any sense," he said. "So we are going to continue to push that he would be willing to come forward to the Oversight Committee and answer some questions.” 


Johnson said he presumes there was a strong disagreement between Gordon and Whitmer.


“Governor Whitmer has told us this entire time that she's following the data and science that she's listening to the health experts but it looks like that maybe she wasn't listening to him and that she wanted to go at this alone," he said.


In the letter from Gordon, he states that Governor Whitmer deserves to work with a health director she feels comfortable with.


Johnson says he’s introduced a resolution to provide the Oversight Committee with subpoena power over Gordon.

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