Former Michigan Department of Health and Human Services director gets $155,000 payout
LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Former Michigan Department of Health and Human Services director Robert Gordon will receive more than $155,000 as part of a separation agreement.
The agreement revealed Monday calls for Gordon to drop all claims against the state and prohibits both he and the Whitmer administration from discussing why he left. It also promises legal assistance in matters relating to actions he took while director.
Gordon announced his resignation abruptly on Jan. 22, which is the same day the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced a revised epidemic order allowing restaurants to reopen indoor dining at 25% capacity on Feb. 1. Restaurants had been closed to indoor dining since Nov. 18 at the time.
The Michigan Supreme Court effectively invalidated many of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic with a ruling on Oct. 2 that threw out the 1945 Emergency Powers of the Governor Act. That thrust Gordon and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services into a central role in managing COVID-19 restrictions.
Gordon issued essentially the same mandates under state laws unaddressed by the court days after the Oct. 5 ruling, prompting protests outside his home.
Early in his tenure leading the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Gordon came under fire in Tuscola County for his proposal to cancel a $115 million replacement of the Caro Center mental health hospital and move it elsewhere.
Gordon claimed the rural location in Caro left the facility unable to attract enough quality treatment staff. However, the Tuscola County community organized and appealed directly to Whitmer for a reversal of Gordon’s plans to close the Caro Center.
Eventually, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services decided to keep the Caro Center in Tuscola County with different expansion and renovation plans.
Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.