Mich. assistant attorney general fired for stalking gay student
A Michigan assistant attorney general has been fired for stalking and harassing the gay president of the Michigan Student Assembly.
Andrew Shirvell was removed from his position for lying to investigators during a disciplinary hearing and for posting attacks against the student online during work hours, according to a statement released on Nov. 8 by Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox.
Shirvell became a national lightning rod after appearing on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” to defend his attacks against Chris Armstrong, whom he referred to as a Nazi and Satan’s representative.
“I’m a Christian citizen exercising my First Amendment rights,” Shirvell told Cooper.
Cox said Shirvell’s offenses went beyond free speech, however. He said Shirvell had shown up at Armstrong’s home three times, including once at 1:30 a.m., to harass him.
Cox said Shirvell’s aggressive pattern of seeking out and harassing Armstrong amounted to stalking. Shirvell harassed several of Armstrong’s friends while they were socializing in Ann Arbor and attempted to out him to his non-gay friends. Shirvell also made numerous calls to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office while Armstrong worked as an intern there in an apparent attempt to get the speaker to fire him.
At one point, Armstrong sought a protective order against Shirvell.
“The cumulative effects of his use of state resources, harassing conduct that is not protected by the First Amendment and his lies during (a) disciplinary conference all demonstrate adequate evidence of conduct unbecoming a state employee,” Cox said.
Shirvell is one of about 250 lawyers who serve in the attorney general’s office. A 2002 alumnus of the University of Michigan, he is only allowed to visit the Ann Arbor campus if he does not attempt to make physical or verbal contact with Armstrong or be in the same place at the same time.