LANSING (WWJ/AP) - A judge has ruled that a former Michigan assistant attorney general fired for misconduct should receive unemployment benefits.
Andrew Shirvell was accused of stalking and harassing former University of Michigan student body president Chris Armstrong. A federal court jury earlier this year awarded Armstrong $4.5 million in his lawsuit against Shirvell.
In filing the suit last spring, Armstrong claimed Shirvell had been stalking him on campus and at his home. Armstrong’s attorney Deborah Gordon said in the complaint that Shirvell displayed a “bizarre personal obsession” with Armstrong through critical blog and Facebook posts in which he claimed Armstrong was pushing a “radical homosexual agenda.”
In an interview with WWJ Newsradio 950 last year, Armstrong called the whole ordeal a “nightmare.”
Then-Attorney General Mike Cox fired Shirvell in 2010.
Shirvell’s original request for unemployment benefits was denied because he was dismissed for misconduct.
But Ingham County Judge Paula Manderfield last month ordered Shirvell to get unemployment benefits, claiming he “was fired for constitutionally protected speech” rather than misconduct.
The Associated Press left a message with the attorney general’s office on Thursday.
Shirvella is a 2002 University of Michigan graduate.
(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)