DETROIT (AP) – A former lawyer with the state of Michigan who had intense hostility for a gay college student has lost an appeal to keep his law license.

Andrew Shirvell’s 2017 disbarment was affirmed Tuesday by the Attorney Discipline Board.

READ MORE: Holiday Travel And Gas: What To Expect At The Pump

Shirvell was an assistant attorney general. He was fired in 2010 after criticizing Christopher Armstrong on an anti-gay blog, on Facebook and during visits to the University of Michigan. The controversy made headlines.

READ MORE: 2 Teens Charged After Shots Fired At Detroit Police Officers

Shirvell says he was exercising free-speech rights. But the Attorney Discipline Board says the attacks against Armstrong were “hostile and vindictive.” The board says Shirvell “demonstrated an egregious failure of professional judgment and character.”

In a separate matter, a jury in 2012 ordered Shirvell to pay $4.5 million to Armstrong, who was a student government leader.

MORE NEWS: Republicans Kept Off Michigan Ballot Turn To The Courts

© 2018 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.