A copy of the since-canceled contact tracing contract Michigan Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration executed with a Democrat operative’s consulting firm, obtained exclusively by Breitbart News, shows the firm would have been paid to recruit 400 volunteers to collect medical information from state residents.
The contract was signed April 20, 2020, between the Michigan Public Health Institute and Great Lakes Community Engagement, a nonprofit organization under the control of Mike Kolehouse, a Democrat campaign consultant.
Emails released on Tuesday show Whitmer’s team gave the “green light” to hire the firm, according to Bridge Magazine.
“We got the green light from EOG [the executive office of the governor] to move forward with a slightly different organizational arrangement of the contact tracing volunteer work,” Andrea Taverna, a senior adviser at the Department of Health and Human Services, said in an email to other health department officials.
“This would still be working with Mike Kolehouse, so work there isn’t lost — it’s just organized somewhat differently,” she wrote.
Despite those statements, Whitmer’s office has sought to distance her from the arrangement.
“When it was brought to my attention, I told them to cancel it,” Whitmer said during an April 22 press conference.
She also defended the department, saying it “does not have a political bone in their theoretical body.”
But no one has explained how Kolehouse, who has a long history of working exclusively for Democrat campaigns and progressive causes, came onto the scene to begin with.
Janice Kidd, finance and budget manager at the Michigan Public Health Institute, signed the agreement.
Kidd has not responded to Breitbart News about who authorized her to sign the document.
The contract laid out personnel and a payment schedule.
“The staff overseeing these programs will consist of the Owner/Operator, Director of Operations, and a 16-person management team. The management team includes two Project Managers and 14 Volunteer Managers who will each oversee approximately 400 volunteers,” it read.
Initial Payment: The first 4 weeks of services of $64,500, plus the cost of an estimated 50 shifts ($17,500), for a total invoice amount of $82,000. Once invoiced, the first payment will be due on May 1st.
Final Payment: The last 4 weeks of service will be based on shifts used in the previous month, subcontractor will adjust the bill accordingly. The invoice will include $86,000 for 4 weeks of management, plus the cost of an estimated 75 shifts ($26,250) for a total of $112,250. Once invoiced, the second payment will be due on June 1st.
Total payments from MPHI to the Subcontractor under this Agreement, shall not exceed the sum of ONE HUNDRED NINETY-FOUR THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY and 00/100 DOLLARS ($194,250.00). MPHI shall make payments to Subcontractor within forty-five (45) days after receipt by the Business Office of an invoice that has been approved by the project coordinator indicating the amount due and the subcontract reference number.
The contract also included a two-and-a-half page exhibit detailing privacy requirements due to the sensitivity of the medical information volunteers would be obtaining.
The agreement also included a “Stop Work Order” provision, which was invoked the following day after media scrutiny in a letter to Kolehouse:
The Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) has requested that the Michigan Public Health Institute (MPHI) issue a Stop Work Order to Great Lakes Community Engagement for work on project N-80007. Consequently, per Section 19 of your agreement, this letter serves as your Stop Work Order notification. All work must stop immediately on this project, effective April 21, 2020.
Kolehouse has not commented on the matter.
Kyle Olson is a reporter for Breitbart News. He is also host of “The Kyle Olson Show,” syndicated on Michigan radio stations on Saturdays. Listen to segments on YouTube. Follow him on Twitter and like him on Facebook.