COX SHOCKS: Michigan AG Mike Cox Reverses Himself, Suspends Anti-Gay Cyber Bully Andrew Shirvell

It only took a couple of CNN appearances by both parties, but Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox is no longer defending his Andrew Shirvell’s First Amendment right to be a dick to gay college student Chris Armstrong. Cox suspended the assistant attorney general. Why the 180 after saying he wouldn’t punish Shirvell? Update: Shirvell’s exit is now being called a “voluntary leave of absence.”

Because, Cox says, he hadn’t read all of Shirvell’s web ramblings on Chris Armstrong Watch, the blog devoted to attacking the gay 21-year-old University of Michigan student assembly president. Says Cox now: “I’m at fault here. I’ve been saying for weeks that (Shirvell’s) been acting like a bully, that his behavior is immature, but it’s after-hours and protected by the First Amendment.”

But that wasn’t his only comments Thursday night. Others were aimed at former Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who tweeted: “If I was still Attorney General and Andrew Shirvell worked for me, he would have already been fired.” Responds Cox: “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.”

Interestingly, Armstrong is still remaining silent, perhaps at the advice of counsel; he’s seeking legal protection from Shirvell, who has a tendency not just to troll his Facebook but to show up outside his home. Shirvell is banned from UMich’s campus and is under investigation by campus police for stalking.

Five seconds until the Liberty Counsel takes up Shirvell’s case and launches a First Amendment suit … 4 … 3 … 2 …

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  • ewe

    “Campus police” doesn’t mean much. Happy to hear this but it is a real travesty the AG has to learn the law along the way.

  • Tony

    where’s the FBI ??

  • Dan

    I don’t think the First Amendment covers stalking. This is very creepy, like Larry Craig creepy.

  • Amber

    I would not call it a reversal until Mike Cox fires Andrew Shirvell, disavows his stance with similarly minded groups, recalls all pending bills and support measures that he’s put out (Cox is VERY anti-gay) and submits a bill to REVERSE Michigan’s “Protection of Marriage” anti-gay bill. Only then will it be a 180. Let’s face it- Cox just gave Shirvell a vacation (and plenty of time to do PAID interviews on TV)and has supported Shirvell for the past 5-6 months that the blog has been out there.

  • Kalbo

    @Ewe, FYI: Many states commission a state-level police department, separate from the municipal-level cops, for their major universities; they have exclusive jurisdiction over a campus. They are likely not the rent-a-cops you may have seen. My alma mater has a police force with a SWAT team and all … I’d bet UM has a similar setup.

  • Chuck

    Glad he’s suspended. He should also be fired. He is also gayer than Rue Paul on Fire Island.

  • Zach

    I know the campus security at my alma matter aren’t rent a cops,they had firearms and authority to arrest people. I imagine the UM sercurity is similiar in that regards.
    Mr.Cox’s snarky comments show that he still doesn’t have a problem with Andrew’s blog and IMO fully supports it. He is a bigot who hates the LGBT community.
    The only reason he suspended him is because there is no way he could justify keeping someone who actions have gotten so bad that Armstrong is going to court Monday to get a restraining order against him,which I feel the judge WILL grant based on what I read in the documents.
    And based on what I read in the documents,with him being suspended I urge Chris,his family and friends to take measures to protect yourselves. This man has shown himself to be an obessive, self loathing stalker and now that he’s out of a job for the time being (until Focus On The Family hires him), I fear he will lash out at Chris, his family or anyone else he has stalked in his sick obessive quest against him.

  • matt

    Its about time the AG did something… but now the Govenor needs to repremand the AG for being such an idiot! And the AG should be getting Armstrong protection – throw that perv Assistant AG in a prison cell with a bunch of big daddys to cure his homophobia! Want to bet the next shoe to drop is that Assistant AG and AG are really closeted butt buddies!

  • Michael Letterman

    Cox is lying. He could’ve easily said, “no comment, until I investigate this further.” Instead, for whatever reasons (most likely, Shirvell is a friend who worked on his campaign plus he is anti-gay and agreed with Shirvell), he turned a blind eye to Shirvell’s behavior.

    NOW, he was forced to “suspend” Shirvell because POLITICALLY is has gotten way out of hand and it’s making him look REALLY bad. Cox is still an ass because he hasn’t fired Shirvell BUT maybe, it’s the steps necessary so Shirvell can’t sue Cox. I doubt it but who knows.

    At least something was done. And that’s better than nothing.

    I still want Shirvell FIRED!!! and as another poster noted Cox to be reprimanded for not acting appropriately. There is a HUGE conflict when an Assistant AG behaves this way and is supposed to work for the people.

  • Davey Fan

    Shirvell is probably suspended with pay, giving him more time than ever to stalk and obsess and harass.

  • Cam

    Oh Please, his office was flooded with calls and e-mails so he backed down. Shirvelle was a leader of Cox’s campaign, I don’t think that Cox’s opinion of gays differs from Shirvelle’s. He just wasn’t expecting the flood of complaints and the complaint from the governor.

    Also, he keeps siting a 1995 Supreme Court case on how civil servants are protected from being fired, it’s funny though how he keeps ignoring a 2006 case in which the civil servant was fired for behavior that wasn’t half as creepy as Shirvelle’s.

    So if he is lying about court cases to protect the gy I have to assume he agrees with him.

  • jon

    @ewe: IKD about your state but in Michigan Campus PD sends you to the exact same jail as City, County, and State Police.

  • Cam

    People asked why the college kid hadn’t filed for protection before now. Easy, the police are going to give a sitting assistant AG with an anti-gay boss the benefit of the doubt. The cops work with the AG’s office and wouldn’t want to piss them off. Now that the story has gone public, and CNN broadcast all the details there is no way the cops and a judge would refuse to give him a restraining order.

  • Ryan

    Mike Cox said today that he has not suspended Andrew Shirvell. He stated that Andrew is taking time off by choice.

  • randy

    Armstrong is exactly as he should. If he wants to sue for libel, he will lose if he is deemed a “public” person. The bar is very low for that, and just being student council president may mean he is a public person. What I DO know is that if he gives an interview for the press, even just the local press, he will automatically be deemed a public person, and then he has no basis for a lawsuit. So the best legal advice is to stay out of the spotlight as best as possible.

    Secondly, in dealing with mentally ill people like Shirvell, you can only ignore them. They want and crave attention from the person they are stalking. If you respond to them in any way, no matter how negative, they take it as progress. “See! He ignored me for months, now I got his attention — I’m getting my way. If I just keep pressing, he will eventually come to appreciate me.”

    Mentally ill people are by definition NOT rational like you or me. If someone tells me to fuck off, I get offended and then I avoid that person. To Shirvell, that would be an invitation to come over for tea. Any mental health professional would tell Armstrong to avoid any contact with Shirvell for that reason, and do not feed him in any way.

  • wompman

    Cox is another fundie like the insane Shirvell, so he very likely agrees with the crazy blog but after so much public condemnation he had to take a step. I agree that the hate orgs like Liberty counsel and the ADF will use Shirvell as a poster boy and I hope they do – only the most complete lunatic will see his “case” as anything but stalking and dangerous behavior.

  • Reg

    I have a friend who worked for Granholm and the AG, after he got VERY sick and they found out he was gay, they gave him a leave of abscence, and then eventually fired him for missing to much work…This is how the Government works here in Lansing, MI. Homophobic to the core. It won’t surprise me in the least when Shirvell gets his job back.

  • Taylor Siluwé


    I agree, Armstrong remaining silent is in his best interest. Even in his Anderson Cooper interview, ‘NUTvell called out Armstrong on his silence, saying it meant he was guilty of something or other.

    The man is an evangelical loon (who someone joked is SO in-the-closet, he’s got one foot in NARNIA) who is completely unhinged with lust for Armstrong (who’s clearly a hottie). Staying miles away from this kook is well advised.

    Although I hope he gets fired once and for all, if the history of stalkers and stalkees is any indicator, I fear it will push Shirvell further over the edge and he may become a danger to Anderson’s life.

    Frightening what self-delusion can do.

  • Taylor Siluwé

    Oops, I meant a danger to “Armstrong’s life.” Not that this nut doesn’t have a bone to pick with Anderson too ….

  • ewe

    @Kalbo: @Ewe, FYI: Many states commission a state-level police department, separate from the municipal-level cops, for their major universities; they have exclusive jurisdiction over a campus.

    Exactly my point.

Comments are closed.