CBS62logoNEW2013_blue_final_header_White wwj950-sm2011b 971-ticket-35smb 35h_CBSSportsRad_Detroit

Local

State Wants New Look At Jobless Aid For Lawyer

View Comments
Andrew Shirvell (video screenshot)

Andrew Shirvell (video screenshot)

Get Breaking News First

Receive News, Politics, and Entertainment Headlines Each Morning.
Sign Up

LANSING (WWJ/AP) - State officials are asking a judge to reconsider a decision granting unemployment benefits to a former assistant attorney general who was fired after hounding a gay student leader at the University of Michigan.

An Ingham County judge awarded the unemployment benefits after finding that Andrew Shirvell was fired for exercising his free speech. However, the attorney general’s office says the offense was not related to the First Amendment, adding that Shirvell’s conduct disrupted public business and was not protected.

The state believes Judge Paula Manderfield’s decision is wrong, and officials are now asking her to vacate her October order and uphold the decision of the unemployment agency.

In a separate matter, a jury in August ordered Shirvell to pay $4.5 million to Chris Armstrong, who was student government president at U-M.

In filing the suit last year, 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.”

Then-Attorney General Mike Cox fired Shirvell in 2010 after he criticized Armstrong. Shirvell said he was acting within his First Amendment rights and that his statements were either true or protected because of Armstrong’s role as a public figure.

Armstrong had offered to drop the suit if Shirvell apologized.

TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,929 other followers