Former prosecutor wants job back after being fired for harassing gay student

Andrew Shirvell

Andrew Shirvell

DETROIT — A former assistant attorney general for the state of Michigan who was fired after expressing hostility toward a gay University of Michigan student government president has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the state’s current attorney general and his predecessor.

Andrew Shirvell’s federal suit, filed November 7, names as defendants Mike Cox, the previous attorney general who fired him in 2010, as well as current Attorney General Bill Schuette and four others.

The case dates to 2010 when, for nearly six months, Shirvell waged an online campaign against 20-year-old Christ Armstrong, the university’s first openly gay student president.

Shirvell used his blog to continuously attack and harass Armstrong, calling him a “radical homosexual activist,” a “racist, elitist and liar,” and “Satan’s representative on the student assembly.”

Shirvell was fired in November 2010 after Cox determined that he used state resources and hours to conduct his campaign against Armstrong.

At the time of his firing, Cox said in a statement that Shirvell was guilty of conduct unbecoming of a state law enforcement official and utilizing state resources to persecute and harass Armstrong.

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Armstrong later sued Shirvell claiming the official stalked and defamed him for months.

Shirvell retaliated by filing his own suit against Armstrong and his attorney, who sought to have Shirvell disbarred. Eventually, a judge tossed out Shirvell’s lawsuit, and in 2012, a jury sided with Armstrong and awarded him $4.5 million in his lawsuit against Shirvell.

Shirvell is now seeking a monetary award as well as his job back.

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