An Assault on Transparency: Whitmer Doubles-Down on Secret Deals

Governor Formalizes Policy of Using Taxpayer Money to Pay for Hush Money Deals

LANSING, MI, March 12, 2021 – Michigan Freedom Fund Executive Director Tony Daunt provided the following statement today, after Governor Gretchen Whitmer unveiled a new state directive encouraging state government departments to spend tax dollars on hush money settlements designed to buy the silence of former state employees.

“Michigan residents of all stripes are demanding answers from Governor Whitmer about the secret hush money deal she engineered to buy the silence of her fired health department director, but instead, today she brazenly doubled down on secrecy.

“Governor Whitmer’s new directive is a direct and arrogant assault on Michiganians right to know what their government is doing.  It will make government less transparent, it will mean morecommon secrecy agreements, and it will force taxpayers to fund her administration’s cover-up attempts.”

The Michigan Freedom Fund renewed its demanded that Whitmer publicly and formally come clean about the resignation of former Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon, and his time leading the department responsible for the state’s response to COVID-19.

Details of the secret, taxpayer funded agreement came to light yesterday thanks to excellent reporting from the Detroit News that revealed Gordon was paid $155,506 in taxpayer funds to keep quiet about the circumstances surrounding his abrupt January resignation.

The deal, and today’s attack on government transparency flies in the face of Whitmer’s January 3, 2019 executive directives and numerous other transparency pledges focused on assuring “a good, ethical state government?”