Michigan Assistant Attorney General
Andrew Shirvell has taken a personal leave from his post amid a
firestorm of controversy and calls for his immediate resignation for
harassing gay student Chris Armstrong.
The Detroit Free Press is
reporting that Shirvell will be the subject of a disciplinary hearing
after he returns to work.
The announcement comes after Attorney
General Mike Cox defended Shirvell's actions.
“He's clearly a bully. Absolutely,”
Cox, a Republican, told Anderson Cooper on CNN's Anderson Cooper
360. “And is he using the Internet to be a bully? Yes. But
is that protected under the First Amendment of the United States
Shirvell began attacking Armstrong
after being elected president of the University of Michigan at Ann
Arbor Student Assembly in April. He's
criticized and belittled Armstrong at Chris
a website he runs, now sealed off behind a password protected page.
The University of Michigan has banned
Shirvell from its campus. And Armstrong has filed a personal
protection order against him.
Progressive bloggers have sounded off
on Cox's unwillingness to discipline his employee.
“Even now, Michigan AG Mike Cox
cannot bring himself to fire the crazed, stalking bigot, assistant
attorney general Andrew Shirvell for 'conduct unbecoming a state
employee,'” openly gay Andrew
Sullivan wrote on his blog The
Daily Dish. “There's one reason Cox cannot fire Shirvell.
His Christianist base backs everything Shirvell believes.”
Fire Andrew Shirvell has attracted more than 9,000 followers.