In a bizarre twist, the former Michigan assistant attorney general who stalked and harassed a gay University of Michigan student, filed a lawsuit in federal court against the student’s lawyer.
Andrew Shirvell filed a suit Oct. 26 in U.S. District Court against Deborah Gordon, the Bloomfield Hills attorney who represents Christopher Armstrong, the former UofM student body president. Armstrong was the object of Shirvell’s blog “Chris Armstrong Watch,” on which Shirvell described Armstrong as “a radical homosexual activist, racist, elitist and liar.” Armstrong said that Shirvell contacted his friends, showed up at his public appearances and insulted his family and friends on the blog.
Shirvell was fired for using state resources for his campaign against Armstrong and for lying to investigators during his disciplinary hearing, Attorney General Mike Cox said last November.
In this latest lawsuit (Shirvell has also sued Chris Armstrong), Shirvell claims that Gordon interfered with the internal investigation that led to his firing last fall, and that she has repeatedly made false and malicious public statements against him.
“As a direct and proximate result” of Gordon’s actions, Shirvell said in court filings, the Attorney General’s Office “improperly fired” him.
“It’s literally crazy,” Gordon told the Detroit News. “He can’t accept the fact that Mike Cox’s office fired him for wrongdoing. He can’t deal with that. Instead he says it’s me.”
Shirvell received national attention for his fixation on Anderson, particularly after going onto CNN’s Anderson Cooper Show and trying to justify his stalking of the student. Cooper repeatedly tried to get Shirvell to explain why it was appropriate for a lawyer from the state’s attorney general office to harass an 18 year old college student. Shirvell tried to argue that he was only exercising his First Amendment right of free speech.
Shirvell, now a resident of the state of New York, is seeking damages of up to $75,000 from Gordon.