Sachs: Whitmer’s Secret Hush Money Payment to Steve Gray Bought Silence about More than Initially Realized

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Freedom Fund Executive Director Tori Sachs today demanded disgraced Whitmer administration official Steve Gray return the $86,000 hush money payment he received from taxpayers at Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s direction, to help defray the cost of the latest catastrophe unfolding at the state’s unemployment insurance agency. According to a report in The Detroit News, the state’s Unemployment Insurance Agency was recently forced to mail 648,000 recipients who may have been paid millions in error because of shoddy paperwork delivered by the agency.
Unemployment recipients were initially asked by former director Gray’s agency to list one of four reasons they were eligible for federal pandemic unemployment assistance, but the options provided were not approved by the federal government. The U.S. Department of Labor has forced the state agency to re-evaluate recipents’ eligibility in light of the Whitmer administration’s latest mistake.
The hush-money payment to former Unemployment Director Steve Gray was not Whitmer’s only controversial taxpayer funded payoff during the pandemic. Former Health Director Robert Gordon received a $155,000 payment to depart his position authorizing shutdowns which led Michigan to have some of the highest unemployment rates in the country.
“Gretchen Whitmer paid Steve Gray $86,000 of taxpayer money to keep his mouth shut about the mistakes they made handling the state’s unemployment agency during the pandemic,” said Tori Sachs, Executive Director of the Michigan Freedom Fund. “Returning that disgraceful payment should happen immediately, but it won’t even cover postage for the 648,000 letters the state just sent due to their errors and shutdowns.”

The Michigan Freedom Fund works to advance conservative ideas, hold our government accountable to taxpayers, and protect Freedom, opportunity, and workers’ Constitutional rights. For more information, please visit