Main | Monday, January 12, 2015

MICHIGAN: No Unemployment Benefits For Fired Anti-Gay Former State Attorney

Via the Associated Press:
A state attorney fired for an anti-gay campaign against a college student can't collect unemployment benefits, the Michigan appeals court says, rejecting claims that his off-hours activities were protected by the First Amendment. The attorney general's office was justified in firing Andrew Shirvell in 2010 because his posts on Facebook and an anti-gay blog, as well as his campus visits and TV appearances, clearly had an adverse impact on the agency's credibility, the court said in a 3-0 decision released Friday. The court overturned a ruling by an Ingham County judge, who said Shirvell was entitled to jobless benefits because he was fired for exercising free speech. "The department, as the chief law enforcement agency in the state, represents all of the citizens of Michigan irrespective of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or creed. … Shirvell's conduct reasonably could have created the impression that neither he nor the department enforced the law in a fair, even-handed manner without bias," the court said.
In a separate 2012 ruling still under appeal, Shirvell was ordered to pay a $4.5M judgment to the then-student government president at the University of Michigan. (Tipped by JMG reader Ed)

PREVIOUSLY ON JMG: Shirvell is suspended by the Michigan attorney general. Shirvell's history of anti-gay harassment goes way back.  Shirvell loses defamation suit brought by student government president.

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