You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Fri, Dec 28, 2012 : 5:28 p.m.

Fired assistant state attorney general Andrew Shirvell to keep unemployment benefits

By Amy Biolchini

Andrew Shirvell, the assistant state attorney general fired after attacking a gay student body president at the University of Michigan through blog posts in 2010, will keep his unemployment benefits after a judge refused to reconsider her ruling, the Detroit Free Press reported.


Andrew Shirvell

Marissa McClain | The Michigan Daily

Ingham County Judge Paula Manderfield rejected a motion Dec. 19 from the Michigan Attorney General’s Office and the state's Unemployment Insurance Agency asking her to reconsider her October decision that Shirvell, 32, was entitled to his benefits, according to the report.

The state fired Shirvell in 2010 after Shirvell’s blog posts targeting U-M’s first openly gay student body president, Chris Armstrong, were the subject of national attention.

Shirvell owes $4.5 million in Armstrong’s federal defamation lawsuit as a result of an August jury ruling.

Shirvell, who declined to release details of his unemployment compensation to the Detroit Free Press, stated he believes he’s entitled to the benefits because he was not fired for misconduct, but for expressing his political and religious thoughts on his personal time and resources, according to the story.

Amy Biolchini covers Washtenaw County, health and environmental issues for Reach her at (734) 623-2552, or on Twitter.


Tom Todd

Sun, Dec 30, 2012 : 3:30 p.m.

Some people have gotten and continue to get a lot more given to them for a whole lot less.


Sun, Dec 30, 2012 : 12:02 p.m.

This yet another reason why I think our tax payments are wasted.


Sun, Dec 30, 2012 : 6:40 a.m.

Manfield needs to get a grip. Protecting their own is no longer acceptable. Especially when bigotry is the root cause of the crime. This guy committed a crime and abuse dhis position of power and cost the taxpayers a bundle to bring justice to the surface, therefore he doesn't deserve squat. This judge is way out of line with this decision. Protecting their own diminishes the respect for law.


Sat, Dec 29, 2012 : 6:05 p.m.

Mr. Shirvell, enjoy those benefits while you can. you won't be able to collect them forever!!


Sat, Dec 29, 2012 : 1:06 p.m.

GET A JOB! Free loader!


Sat, Dec 29, 2012 : 1:39 p.m.

That's no way to talk about a Judge.


Sat, Dec 29, 2012 : 12:36 a.m.

I know people who have been fired for lesser causes, and been denied unemployment benefits, because they lost their job beacuse of their own conduct, not for reasons beyond their control. Applying that measuring stick, Shrivel should not receive these benefits either, because he is resposible for his conduct that led to his termination.

Bill Wilson

Sat, Dec 29, 2012 : 12:08 a.m.

Shirvell is either a incredibly ignorant sexist and/or a jilted ex, but Armstrong was not damaged, hence the $4.5 million dollar judgment is undeserved, and is purely political. I imagine Shirvell has either appealed, and/or filed for bankruptcy, so Armstrong will never see a single dollar anyway. But, that being said, his unemployment checks should not be denied to him. What's next, are we going to void his mortgage, remove the food from his kitchen, and force him to sleep under a bridge? Enough already!

Matt Cooper

Sun, Dec 30, 2012 : 10 p.m.

Causing injury to someone's reputation is in fact "damage", and at least a couple courts completely disgaree with you and say that Armstrong was clearly damaged. Secondly, if one is terminated for misconduct, one is not entitled to unemployment compensation. State AG office says he was guilty of misconduct. He disputes that. Either way, if any court takes the states side and says they agree that he was committing misconduct, his unemployment is over. As to your final comment...Well let's just say that any punishments Shirvell faces, he brought upon himself with his sexist, homophobic and abusive behavior. "Enough already!"? No. Hardly. Until he pays Armstrong the $4.5 mil. he was ordered to pay, he is not done. You don't get to harass, abuse and publicly humliate anyone without paying a serious price. Mr. Shirvell is finding that out the hard way.


Sat, Dec 29, 2012 : 2:51 p.m.

People have received much more for much less. I think Armstrong deserves every penny.....and, admittedly, it's probably in part because I dislike Shirvell so much.


Sat, Dec 29, 2012 : 12:42 a.m.

"Enough bigotry already!" yelled the commenter with the name "Mohawk'.


Sat, Dec 29, 2012 : 12:28 a.m.

I guess being stalked is not a problem? Your post clearly shows you have no idea what LGBT people have to deal with, even at elite universities. PS If you get fired from a job for any reason such as theft, improper use of company resources, sexual harassment --- you forfeit your right to unemployment. Enough bigotry already!


Fri, Dec 28, 2012 : 11:53 p.m.

The unemployment should be garnished to pay the judgment.


Sat, Dec 29, 2012 : 1:46 p.m.

Unemployment payments cannot be garnished prior to payment to the beneficiary. Whether the payments can be garnished after received by the beneficiary is another story.


Fri, Dec 28, 2012 : 11:27 p.m.

Darned activist Republican judges,legislating from the bench.


Sat, Dec 29, 2012 : 2:53 a.m.

She was a Democrat before being elected to the non-partisan post of Judge.


Sat, Dec 29, 2012 : 12:30 a.m.

How do you know the political leanings of Judge Manderfield?