The Michigan Republican Party has called on the state’s attorney general to investigate a reported separation deal between Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and her former state health department director.
The Michigan GOP issued a statement Tuesday calling for Whitmer, a Democrat, and her former Department of Health Director Robert Gordon “to release all information” surrounding a “secret deal” between the pair after Gordon’s “abrupt” departure from his post.
Gordon and Whitmer’s office reportedly agreed to a $155,506 payout following Gordon’s abrupt resignation in January, with the details of his departure remaining confidential.
Republicans want Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office to “immediately open up an investigation” into the deal.
They also called on the state legislature to “issue subpoenas and hold hearings to answer a very simple question — Why is Gov. Whitmer buying the silence of a former government employee, the state’s top public health official, in the middle of a global pandemic?”
State Sen. Jim Runestad, a Republican, said the “confidentiality agreement just adds another wrinkle to the problem.”
“The administration has not been forthcoming with the data or the information surrounding their COVID policies,” Runestad continued. “The continued secrecy is troubling, and even more reason to investigate the Whitmer administration’s COVID policies.”
Ted Goodman, communications director for the Michigan Republican Party, told Fox News that the deal “doesn’t pass the smell test and Michiganders deserve answers.”
Whitmer’s office did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
The demands for an investigation into the governor’s undisclosed deal isn’t the only one being called for.
Republican lawmakers are also demanding an investigation into Whitmer’s handling of nursing homes during the coronavirus pandemic, accusing the governor of withholding crucia data from the public.
Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Charlie LeDuff announced on Monday that he is “preparing a lawsuit” against Whitmer for the release of state coronavirus nursing home death data.
“The public has a right to know. Above all, the public has a need to know. We shut down the entire economy, we interrupted our children’s lives, all in the name of protecting the most vulnerable. We now know this was the institutionalized elderly. If we could not protect them, at the very least we deserve an explanation from Madam Governor,” LeDuff told Fox News in an email on Monday.
“If there’s something more to it than that, let’s say gross incompetence or gross negligence or gross press conferences designed to cover the facts, then she needs to answer for it. As I’ve always said, the power lies with the people, not the political parties,” he added.