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article imageAsst AG who called student Satan's rep takes a leave of absence

By Cynthia Trowbridge     Oct 2, 2010 in Politics
Michigan Assistant Attorney General, Andrew Shirvell, was writing a blog about U of M's student body president Chris Armstrong. Shirvell gained national attention after appearing on CNN on Anderson Cooper's program.
A report by Digital Journal on September 29 told about the blogs that were being written by Shirvell about University of Michigan's (U of M) gay student body president Chris Armstrong. Since the airing of the program and the video hitting UTube there are many calling for Shirvell to be fired from his job including Michigan's Gov. Jennifer Granholm. In a post on Twitter she said she would have fired Shirvell.
detnews.com reports Attorney General Mike Cox said, "I don't know why she's so freaking irresponsible. ... She went to Harvard Law School. The civil service rules are a huge shield for free speech, and she knows that."
Granholm enacted policies for state workers that bar any discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The rules apply only to the workplace and not to what the state employees say or blog when they are not working. According to Matt Fedorchuk, a spokesman for the state department of civil service the rules do allow Cox to fire employees for "just cause," including "conduct unbecoming a state employee. But for what conduct isn't explicitly described.
Cox has described Shirvell as the "lowest level" staff attorney and said he is behaving in an immature manner.
Cox said, "I'm his employer, and I have to start with the premise that he's a civil service employee and what can be done within that."
Shirvell has now taken a leave of absence. A report earlier said that Shirvell had been suspended but Freep.com reports Cox spokeswoman Joy Yearout said, "Contrary to other reports, he has not been suspended. He's taking a leave of absence. It was a personal decision on his part."
When Shirvell returns to work he'll face a disciplinary hearing. The reason for the hearing is when Cox learned Shirvell had been banned from U of M campus, has a personal protection order filed and that Shirvell had stood outside Armstrong's home at 1:30 a.m. videotaping.
Freep.com reports Cox spokesman John Sellek said, "Standing outside anyone's home in the middle of the night ... is not an action he would recommend to any state employee."
WWJ.950 reports Chris Armstrong filed a personal protection order request in Washtenaw County Trial Court on Sepember 13. He states that since April Andrew Shirvell has followed him across the school’s campus and through the city of Ann Arbor. Armstrong said this has been “incredibly hurtful and distressing” and the actions “have been an outright attack” on his ability to live his life openly.
More about Andrew Shirvell, Michigan, Gay student, Homosexual
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