By Matt Christopherson

(CBS Detroit) — New questions tonight in the separation payments to former Michigan officials who had key roles during the pandemic just a day after Governor Whitmer deflected questions about the topic, saying it’s just standard procedure.

Former Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon was given $155,000 following his resignation back in January.

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former Deputy Director Sarah Esty who also quit that month received a similar separation contract.

Only Gordon is believed to have a confidentiality clause.

According to the Associated Press, they weren’t alone.

Former Unemployment Insurance Agency Director Steve Gray received nearly $86,000 in severance after resigning in November.

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The agreements with Gordon and Gray prevent them from speaking about their departure or what led to it.

It also prevents them from suing the state.

Michigan’s Republican party is taking aim at the separation payments linking it to a call for an investigation into Whitmer’s nursing home policy.

GOP officials say they were trying to get info about Whitmer’s use of nursing home facilities to house covid patients, but instead, the former MDHHS director was silenced.

They’re also calling on Attorney General Dana Nessel to launch a non-partisan investigation into Whitmer’s use of nursing homes.

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Matt Christopherson