Michigan’s Assistant Attorney General Andrew Shirvell has gained national attention recently for his bizarre crusade to smear Chris Armstrong, an openly gay student assembly president at the University of Michigan. Shirvell operates a website dedicated solely to attacking Armstong’s “radical homosexual agenda” and has called the student “Satan’s representative” and a “privileged pervert.” Armstrong is even seeking a restraining order against Shirvell because of “several instances where Shirvell showed up at his home or other places he was at to protest against him.”
Shirvell told CNN host Anderson Cooper this week that he believes he has done nothing wrong. “I don’t have any hate in my body at all,” he said. And although the state’s Attorney General Mike Cox conceded that Shirvell is a “bully,” he refuses to discipline him. The Detroit News reported this morning that Cox had suspended Shirvell, but the paper has since pulled the story. Shirvell instead is reportedly taking a voluntary leave of absence:
Michigan Assistant Attorney General Andrew Shirvell has taken a voluntary leave of absence after generating national attention over a controversial blog that ridicules and denounces the University of Michigan’s student body president.
Joy Yearout, a spokeswoman for Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, said this morning that media reports saying Cox suspended Shirvell were inaccurate.
“If I was still Attorney General and Andrew Shirvell worked for me, he would have already been fired,” Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) tweeted yesterday. In its article that has been pulled, the Detroit News reported that Cox fired back at Granholm for the tweet. “I don’t know why she’s so freaking irresponsible. … she went to Harvard Law School,” Cox said. “The civil service rules are a huge shield for free speech and she knows that.” (Legal experts have said that Cox has a case to dismiss Shirvell.)
Michigan Attorney General candidate David Leyton issued a statement calling on his opponent to join him in pushing Cox to reprimand Shirvell. “This type of conduct is unbecoming of the attorney general’s office,” he said. “I am asking Bill Schuette to set aside partisan politics and join me in demanding that Mike Cox fire his bullying lackey.” And as of this morning, nearly 9,000 Facebook users had joined the “Fire Andrew Shirvell” Facebook group.