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House committee subpoenas former Whitmer health chief

Michigan Capitol building in Lansing on a summer day.
Emma Winowiecki
Michigan Radio
Michigan Capitol building in Lansing.

The state House Oversight Committee approved a subpoena Thursday to require former state health department director Robert Gordon to testify.

Republicans have questions on the use of confidentiality agreements when Governor Gretchen Whitmer and top administration officials parted ways. Also whether Gordon differed with Whitmer’s decisions on the state’s COVID-19 response.Representative Steve Johnson (R-Wayland) is the oversight committee chair. He said the committee’s been looking into the Whitmer administration’s use of confidentiality deals.

“And now we are to the point where I would like to move forward with issuing a subpoena,” he said.

The committee vote was party-line – six Republicans voted “yes” and three Democrats “no.”

Attorney Kenneth Baer says Gordon will show up.

“While Robert strongly believes that public officials should be able to receive confidential advice from their senior leaders, he will, of course, honor this subpoena and testify,” said Gordon.

The committee is scheduled to hear Gordon’s testimony on Thursday of next week either in person or online.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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