Harassing Assistant Attorney General Denied His Old Job

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com March 28 2012 6:42 PM ET

Michigan's former assistant attorney general won't be able to return to his job after being fired for allegedly harassing the openly gay student government president at the University of Michigan.

Andrew Shirvell filed a formal complaint with the Michigan Civil Service Commission after he was fired in 2010 but it's been denied. Shirvell, a University of Michigan alum, had launched a blog targeting Chris Armstrong, who was the first openly gay student government president. Mike Cox, who was Shirvell's boss and attorney general at the time, ordered his assistant to stop the harassment. Then Cox reneged on his ultimatum and said Shirvell simply could not tend to his anti-Armstrong website during work hours or use his official title on the blog.

Shirvell was eventually fired, though, after the attorney general's office received more than 22,000 outraged phone calls demanding his termination.

William Hutchens of the Michigan Civil Service Commission said Shirvell had made a "media spectacle" of himself and was properly dismissed from his job after exercising hate speech on the blog about Armstrong, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Hutchens also testified that the blog presented "an overwhelming case to terminate Mr. Shirvell. It outlined escalating behavior. It outlined behavior separate from the blog that dealt with not only his behavior in the workplace, but also his behavior outside the workplace, some of which I would call minimally misdemeanant criminal, meaning stalking... there were a number of incidents where Mr. Shirvell was inviting a civil lawsuit."