News10NBC Investigates: Separation agreement outlines details of Monroe County Health Commissioner’s sudden resignation

Details of Dr. Michael Mendoza’s separation agreement

Details of Dr. Michael Mendoza's separation agreement

MONROE COUNTY, N.Y. — We now know why Monroe County Executive Adam Bello won’t say much about why his former Health Commissioner suddenly resigned: There’s a separation agreement preventing both Bello and Dr. Mike Mendoza from talking freely about the matter. 

Weeks after formally requesting a copy of the agreement, News10NBC Investigative Reporter Jennifer Lewke finally obtained one from Monroe County on Tuesday.  The agreement doesn’t detail why Dr. Mendoza left so abruptly — and if all parties abide by what’s laid out in the terms, we may never know.   

In exchange for signing the nine-page separation agreement, Dr. Mendoza was not subject to any county investigation and/or disciplinary actions and was deemed to have “voluntarily resigned from his employment for personal reasons.”

While he formally resigned on March 19, Dr. Mendoza received his salary until March 31 and was paid out roughly $49,000 for his earned but unused vacation accruals. In signing the agreement, Dr. Mendoza released the county from any and all claims, charges, causes of action, allegations, demands, actions, debts, covenants, contracts, liabilities or damages of any kind he may have considered against it. 

Dr. Mendoza also agreed to a “Non-Disclosure and Non-Disparagement” clause, which will prevent him from disclosing anything related to his employment, information he learned during his employment, confidential or any other information about the county’s employees, officials, the Department of Health and all of its covered units and divisions.  He also agreed not to make any disparaging, derogatory or damaging statements or media/social media posts whatsoever about the county.   

There’s also a clause in the agreement that prevents Dr. Mendoza from entering county facilities unless he has legitimate business to conduct and when that is the case, he must provide the Director of Public Safety at least a 48-hour advance notice.   

If questioned about Dr. Mendoza’s employment and resignation, the county promised to respond only in accordance with the points stated in a joint press release that was provided to local media on March 20 — and that’s exactly what happened when Executive Bello was questioned about it by News10NBC Investigative Reporter Jennifer Lewke right after the resignation

Dr. Mike Mendoza remains a practicing physician and a professor in the Departments of Family Medicine, Public Health Sciences and Nursing at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.