The University of Michigan’s openly gay student body president has filed and ethics complaint seeking to disbar the assistant attorney general who for six months waged a vicious online campaign against him.
Chris Armstrong, 21, made the request Friday to the Attorney Grievance Commission against Andrew Shirvell, 30, a U-M alumnus who launched the blog “Chris Armstrong Watch” earlier this year.
Shirvell used the blog to continuously attack and harass Armstrong, calling him “radical homosexual activist, racist, elitist and liar,” and “Satan’s representative on the student assembly.”
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Deborah Gordon, the attorney for U-M student Chris Armstrong, said Friday she has filed a complaint with the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission against Shirvell, a Michigan assistant attorney general, on behalf of her client. [Detroit Free-Press]
The complaint alleges Shirvell harassed and defamed Armstrong during what Gordon describes as a six-month campaign “of lies, dishonesty, heckling, hate speech and even job interference.”
The commission could disbar Shirvell if it investigates.
“I could not stand by and let Mr. Shirvell continue his reckless, bullying behavior,” Armstrong said in a statement.
Friday’s complaint came as a surprise because Armstrong earlier this week dropped a request for a personal protection order against Shirvell.
Armstrong said he had to take action against Andrew Shirvell to keep him from bullying.
Armstrong claims that on at least two occasions, Shirvell has shown up outside his home, once at 1:30 a.m., and his cited occasions where Shirvell has attended on campus student events to heckle or protest him.
Article continues below“You can’t be a licensed attorney and an officer of the court and conduct yourself this way and essentially terrorize a college student,” said Gordon.
Shirvell has said he is merely exercising his right to free speech, and characterizes his actions similar to “any other political campaign” (although neither of the men are running for any office).
The blog at www.chris-armstrong-watch.blogspot.com, originally public, has since been changed to “invited readers only” access.
Shirvell is on a paid, personal leave of absence. Attorney General Mike Cox said Shirvell faces an immediate disciplinary hearing upon his return.