CNN Wire Staff
(CNN) - Michigan Assistant Attorney General Andrew Shirvell - who for nearly six months has blogged about an openly gay college student - has taken a voluntary leave of absence, the state's attorney general's office confirmed to CNN Friday.
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The office does not know the length of Shirvell's leave, but says that it will hold a disciplinary hearing upon his return.
Earlier this week, Attorney General Mike Cox defended his assistant's constitutional right to wage the internet campaign against Chris Armstrong, even though he said he considers Shirvell a "bully."
"Here in America, we have this thing called the First Amendment, which allows people to express what they think and engage in political and social speech," Cox told Anderson Cooper on CNN's "AC 360" on Wednesday night. "He's clearly a bully ... but is that protected under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution? Yes."
"Mr. [Andrew] Shirvell is sort of a frontline grunt assistant prosecutor in my office," Cox said. "He does satisfactory work and off-hours, he's free to engage under both our civil service rules, Michigan Supreme Court rulings and the United States Supreme Court rule."
But Gov. Jennifer Granholm disagreed. Late Thursday she tweeted, "If I was still attorney general and Andrew Shirvell worked for me, he would have already been fired."
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