LANSING — A State House committee has authorized its chair to subpoena the state’s former health director and require him to testify regarding his resignation.
The Michigan House Oversight Committee voted 6-3 to give it the power to subpoena former Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Director Robert Gordon to testify about severance pay he received after abruptly leaving his position in January.
The committee said that Gordon had refused several invitations to discuss his departure from the department.
Citing a “lack of transparency” being an issue within the state government, Rep. Pat Outman (R – Six Lakes) and five other Republicans on the committee voted in favor of the subpoena, while three Democrats voted against it.
Gordon first left the MDHHS on Jan. 22, announcing his decision on Twitter, which later raised eyebrows when it was revealed that he was paid $155,000 in severance pay.
The scrutiny came because of the amount and because of the confidentiality that originally surrounded the reason for his departure.
As a requirement of his departure, Gordon would have had to drop all claims against the state. However, it is still unclear what the claims were.
In March, Governor Whitmer and Gordon announced the confidentiality clause of his departure would be dropped.