State asks judge to reconsider awarding jobless benefits to Andrew Shirvell

Nov 14, 2012

The state of Michigan is asking a judge to reconsider her decision to award unemployment benefits to former assistant state attorney general  Andrew Shirvell.

Shirvell was fired in November 2010 by then Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox for misconduct after harassing a student leader at the University of Michigan.

Rick Pluta of the Michigan Public Radio Network reported the story Friday:

Ingham County Circuit Judge Paula Manderfield ruled last month that Andrew Shirvell was fired from his state job for exercising his free speech rights and, therefore, qualified for unemployment payments. The motion filed by the attorney general’s office is an initial step toward appealing the ruling.

Shirvell wrote a blog attacking Chris Armstrong, showed up to protest at events attended by the student leader, and staked out his house with a video camera.

The state argues that the controversy surrounding Shirvell’s anti-gay crusade interfered with the ability of the attorney general’s office to carry out its responsibilities. The state says it’s no different than firing a public employee for off-the-job racial stereotyping or ethnic discrimination.

Shirvell says the state's motion is baseless.

From the AP:

Shirvell, in a statement released Tuesday, said, “The Michigan attorney general’s recent filing asking Judge Manderfield to reconsider her decision is completely devoid of any legal merit whatsoever.''

A deadline has not been set for the judge to make her decision on the state's motion.

- Jordan Wyant, Michigan Radio Newsroom