Shirvell Loses Bid to Seal Deposition
BY Julie Bolcer
July 01 2011 12:25 PM ET
Andrew Shirvell, the former Michigan assistant attorney general accused of using state computer resources to harass Chris Armstrong, the gay University of Michigan student body president, lost an attempt to have his upcoming deposition sealed.
Shirvell was fired last year after allegedly using a work computer to write a blog that harassed Armstrong for promoting a “radical homosexual agenda.” He filed a complaint about his termination, pending appeal with the state Civil Service Commission, while Armstrong filed a harassment suit that is pending in federal court.
The Detroit Free Press reports that on Wednesday, Shirvell lost a request to have a deposition set for July 6 sealed from public view. Judge Arthur Tarnow denied the request, and he also rejected an attempt from Shirvell, who cited concerns about his own safety, to limit those who can be in the room for the deposition.
“In his filing, Shirvell says he has received numerous threats ‘against his life and physical well-being from [Armstrong's] political supporters during the past’ 10 months,” reports the Free Press.
An attorney for Armstrong, Deborah Gordon, replied to the motion and said that the safety claims made by Shirvell were unfounded. She also dismissed any need to seal the deposition.
"Ironically, Defendant Shirvell has had no problem publicly attacking [Armstrong] for all the world to hear and see, but now wants the truth or lack thereof behind his accusations to never see the light of day,” said the reply, according to the Free Press. “[Shirvell's] deposition is an opportunity for both parties to set the record straight, and it is telling that [Shirvell] does not welcome that opportunity."
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