November 13th, 2012
07:30 PM ET

Tonight on AC360: Should a state employee fired for misconduct get benefits?

In the fall of 2010, Anderson Cooper confronted Michigan Assistant Attorney General Andrew Shirvell about his actions against a student who attended the University of Michigan at the time. Shirvell launched a relentless and personal campaign on the internet and targeted Chris Armstrong in person claiming he had a "radical homosexual agenda" he was pushing as student body president.

Subsequently, Shirvell was fired from his job and denied unemployment benefits because he was let go due to misconduct. He also lost in a federal court in August when a jury reached a verdict in Armstrong's favor, awarding him $4.5 million.

In October, a judge ruled in Shirvell's favor in a lawsuit he filed to get unemployment benefits. She declared his actions toward Armstrong "constitutionally-protected freedom of speech." Now officials in Michigan want that decision reversed.

Tonight Anderson will talk with Armstrong's attorney and CNN's Jeffrey Toobin about the legal precedent and what could happen next. Tune in at 8 and 10 p.m. ET.

Watch Anderson question Shirvell on AC360 in 2010:

Filed under: 360º Follow • Bullying • Gay & Lesbian Issues
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Dave in Oviedo

    Absolutely he should be fired. Yes, the First Amendment protects free speech. But it doesn't protect stupidity. Employers have the right to hold their employees accountable for their actions - especially public employees. This ruling undoubtedly will be overturned by a higher court. It's just a shame more taxpayer dollars will be wasted on it.

    November 13, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
  2. Paul Bauer

    Perhaps I've missed it, but what is the connection between Broadwell and Kelley? Why was Broadwell sending Kelley emails?

    November 13, 2012 at 8:22 pm |