November 8th, 2010
04:00 PM ET

Update: Shirvell fired after targeting openly gay student leader

Editor's note: Tonight on AC360°, Deborah Gordon, attorney for college student Chris Armstrong, speaks with CNN's Anderson Cooper. Tune in beginning at 10 pm ET.

CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - An assistant attorney general in Michigan has been fired, weeks after coming under fire for targeting an openly gay University of Michigan student online and in person, Attorney General Mike Cox said Monday.

Andrew Shirvell "repeatedly violated office policies, engaged in borderline stalking behavior and inappropriately used state resources," Cox said.

Shirvell's lawyer, Philip J. Thomas, acknowledged his client's termination but did not add anything further. Deborah Bond, the attorney for university student body president, Chris Armstrong, said she and her client "had no comment."

In late September, Cox defended Shirvell's authoring of a blog titled "Chris Armstrong Watch" that railed against the "radical homosexual agenda" of Armstrong.

"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." "He's clearly a bully ... but is that protected under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution? Yes."

Shirvell's dismissal stemmed from actions "unbecoming a state employee" that went beyond the blog, Cox said in Monday's announcement.

Cox said he wasn't firing Shirvell for "exercising ... First Amendment rights, (however) unpopular (the) positions might be," but for persistent and personal harassment.

Full story

Updated: 6:17 pm

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow
soundoff (94 Responses)
  1. Marcus in Greensboro, NC

    This should have been done a while ago... Why right after the elections?

    November 8, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  2. Xavier

    The irony? This very same guy did an interview for The Daily Show. He pretty much shot himself in the foot if anyone saw it

    November 8, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  3. TampaBill

    Why did this take so long ? Whatever the circumstance, why did this take so long for the Attorney General to act ?

    Shame on Shirvell .. and Cox as well.

    November 8, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  4. Bill

    Its about time!

    November 8, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  5. Trev-Roc

    Taking this long is a disgrace. Hate-filled rhetoric has no place. Anywhere.

    November 8, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  6. Kathleen

    Finally. Great story by Anderson Cooper. My concern now is that the student remains safe from this kind of hate-stalking.

    November 8, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  7. Patrick

    Why is it always someone on the far right doing this kind of thing? Liberals never seem to engage in hateful or threatening behavior. Is ultraconservatism somehow linked to violent behavior or mental illness?

    November 8, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  8. Jason

    I'll be so happy when this guy comes out of the closet. Should be any day now.

    November 8, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  9. Bill

    I am finally glad his employer looked into this and removed this man from his duties. Abusing people gets you know where!

    November 8, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  10. Travis in Canada

    Good news – that interview on the Daily Show (especially that one-liner at the end!) really showed what a loser this 'man' was. Good riddance, the system DOES work ...

    November 8, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  11. chico

    Whatever happened to free speech.

    November 8, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  12. Matt

    So glad to see this guy gone! I couldn't believe this was going on when I saw him on the Daily Show.

    November 8, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  13. DMR

    Alas some great news!!!!

    November 8, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  14. JD

    I would like to commend Mike Cox on this difficult, but good decision. It's about time somebody around here stood up for a minority. Many kudos, Mr. Cox!

    November 8, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  15. Jonathan

    About time.

    Now when will he be brought up on harassment charges?

    November 8, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  16. Erica

    Good he should be fired for his unstable behavior. We don't need people like that in public office no matter who you are.

    November 8, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  17. debra

    Whatever happened to what we learned in Kindergarten...if you have nothing good to say, keep your mouth shut!?

    November 8, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  18. Mitch

    Thank God and his boss who finally stood up to this bully!

    November 8, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  19. Susan

    It's about time.

    November 8, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  20. Adam Plimpton

    It's about time somebody did something to get rid of this bigot.

    November 8, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  21. steve

    About time. I am all for free speech but what this guy did was way over the top for a public employee.

    November 8, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  22. Daniel Rhodes

    Good! It should have been done long ago!

    November 8, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  23. Bill Carney

    It's about time this bigoted idiot was fired!

    November 8, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  24. Rob

    It's about time. This man is not fit to serve as an assistant attorney general. It's a shame that without an public outcry, AG Cox would have let him continue to hold office and shame the people of the state of Michigan. It's clear that he is a seriously disturbed individual.

    November 8, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  25. Marla

    Anderson, you did good work in drawing attention to this bully. Thanks for updating us to let us know that justice has been done.

    November 8, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  26. Jason from Hollywood

    Way to go Anderson!!

    Use that pulpit to get the anti-gays out of their jobs!!

    No one's watching your show, might as well make what difference you can while it lasts...pretty soon Rick Sanchez and Aaron Brown will be buying you drinks at a nearby bowling alley

    November 8, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  27. John

    How ironic that he looks EXACTLY like Evan Greenstein

    November 8, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  28. Joey Y

    Thank goodness. What is a guy like this doing harassing someone half his age? As Assistant AG, didn't he have anything important to do than go after someone who a bunch of students elected? What a freak.

    November 8, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  29. Jon

    Just after the guy appeared on The Daily Show earlier this week, too. What are the odds? - Anyway, what a nutcase. Seriously. What was an assistant attorney general doing going after a student, anyway?

    November 8, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  30. Garry

    This should have been done a long time ago. At least they have corrected their mistakes and fired him!

    November 8, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  31. Benjamin

    It's about time! Let's all get something straight: IT IS NOT OK TO BE A BIGOT!!!

    November 8, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  32. Paul

    Countdown to him being on Glenn Beck's radio show hollering about how he was wronged in 3...2...1...

    November 8, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  33. Mary

    Gee, what took the state of Michigan so long?

    When you accept a position in local, state or national government, in many cases, you set aside your right to say anything that you want to in the public domain because you represent ALL individuals of that jurisdiction.

    Mr. Shirvell does have right to hold his beliefs and speak his mind – BUT... he should have resign from his job first. As a staff member of AG's Office for Michigan – he represents ALL Michigan's citizens-straight, gay, black, white, etc.

    November 8, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  34. Bryan

    Glad to see the Attorney General's office take a stance. This man's behavior is totally unacceptable and inhumane. What ever happend to libel? Does anyone follow any kind of guidelines anymore? There is protest and disapproval but this was just slander and hate!

    November 8, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  35. John Weatherly

    Finally, this troubled person has been relieved of 'service'. As an alum of U of M and as a 51 year (past) resident of Michigan, this situation was a horrible embarrassment to the State and to the University. Now someone needs to find out why it took this long for the A.G of the State to fire this clown. Partisan politics anyone???

    Eugene, OR

    November 8, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  36. Clint

    Good. About time we got some good news for a change.

    November 8, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  37. TeaClown

    Homophobia is a psychological condition that can lead to violent behavior. It shouldn't be tolerated.

    November 8, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  38. colby

    This guy is clearly dangerous. Finally the Attorney General made the right decision in this.

    November 8, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  39. Terri L

    This man deserves worse than being fired, he should be prosecuted for stalking and misuse of funds.

    Firing is a good start though, he is more than a little off in the head.

    November 8, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  40. margaret

    Couldn't happen to a more deserving person.

    November 8, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  41. Michael


    November 8, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  42. janet

    Bout time!

    November 8, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  43. Dannon

    People get fired every day for being stupid, why is this guy special?

    November 8, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  44. Larry

    It's about time. Strange how some can believe God is anti-gay but pro-venom.

    November 8, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  45. Jesse

    It's been said that justice delayed is justice denied, but in this case I think "Better late than Never" will have to be good enough.

    As a Michigan resident, it was imperative to see this man out of office.

    November 8, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  46. Angie, Plano TX

    I hate to see anyone loose their job, however, I despise bullying even more. I hope Andrew Shirvell sees where he made his mistakes. If you read this – Andrew, you are an adult – you cannot attack/stalk anyone. If you don't agree with them – agree to disagree and move on. Life is too short – have your opinion and if no one likes it, acknowledge their point, learn from it, and move on. Hopefully you can get the mental support you need to overcome this.

    November 8, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  47. MichaelInVA

    so now we have a disgruntled homophobe with too much time on his hand left to roam the streets, filled with anger. Anyone else see this as a recipe for tragedy?

    November 8, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  48. Kevin

    Finally! This government official has been engaging in this harassment for too long without any repercussions.

    November 8, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  49. Dan

    Good riddance.

    November 8, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  50. marie

    After the" shellacing" anyone other than those to the right took last week, this is a welcome victory. Gives one a hint of hope, in a very gloomy looking future.

    November 8, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
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