Well, it’s about time: Assistant Attorney General Andrew Shirvelll, who admitted to harassing the openly gay student president of the Michigan Student Assembly, was fired this past week. His boss, Attorney General Mike Cox, said he fired Shirvell after discovering he was using state resources in an inappropriate way.
Cox initially defended Shirvell, on First Amendment grounds. And in a statement after firing Shirvell, Cox reiterated his stance. “To be clear, I refuse to fire anyone for exercising their First Amendment rights, regardless of how popular or unpopular their positions might be,” said Cox. “However, Shirvell repeatedly violated office policies, engaged in borderline stalking behavior, and inappropriately used state resources, our investigation showed.”Shirvell initially came under fire after it was revealed that he had created a website called “Chris Armstrong Watch,” specifically devoted to defaming student president Chris Armstrong. Shirvell’s issue? He claimed Armstrong was promoting a “radical homosexual agenda” in his position as head of the student body.
In recent weeks, a huge outpouring of anti-Shirvell sentiment has materialized. A Facebook campaign was launched, urging the state to fire Shirvell.
Prior to his dismissal, Shirvell had taken a leave of absence, though Chris Armstrong Watch continued to be up and operating. In addition to his web-based harassment of Armstrong, he also reportedly showed up at Armstrong’s house on three separate occasions, called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Armstrong’s boss) to encourage her to fire him, and attempted to out Armstrong’s friends (many of whom are not gay). Wow.
Shirvell and his lawyer are said to be appealing the ruling. [Huffington Post]