LANSING, Mich. (AP)—State officials are asking a judge to reconsider a decision granting unemployment benefits to a former assistant attorney general who was fired after hounding a gay student leader at the University of Michigan.
An Ingham County judge awarded benefits after finding that Andrew Shirvell was fired for exercising his free speech. But the attorney general’s office says the offense was not related to the First Amendment. The state says Shirvell’s conduct disrupted public business and was not protected.
The state believes Judge Paula Manderfield’s decision is wrong. Officials are asking her to vacate her October order and uphold the decision of the unemployment agency.
In a separate matter, a jury in August ordered Shirvell to pay $4.5 million to Chris Armstrong, who was student government president at U-M.