Michigan AG Defends Employee’s Cyber-bullying

Jim Burroway

September 30th, 2010

Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox says state Assistant AG Andrew Shirvell is only expressing his opinions, which has nothing to do with his job defending crime victims — including, presumably, victims of cyber-bullying:

Campus Pride has re-issued its 2010 survey of American college students, which found that 33% of gay and 30% of transgender students, faculty, and staff have seriously considered leaving their institution due to the challenging anti-LGBT climate. Thirteen percent of gay students, faculty and staff and 43% of transgender students, faculty and staff fear for their own physical safety. A 2006 poll by Harris Interactive found that 43% of all teens regardless of sexual orientation have experienced cyber-bullying over the prior year. An Iowa State University study found that LGBT youth are hit especially hard by cyber-bullying.

But AG Cox sees nothing wrong with cyber-bullying this particular college student. After all, what could possibly go wrong?

Oh, by the way — Shirvell served as Cox’s campaign manager back in 2006.

Regan DuCasse

September 30th, 2010

What a load of double talk!
Shirvell is bearing false witness. He is making claims and accusations against Armstrong that are made to deliberate hurt him.
Slanderous and libelous.

This exceeds having an opinion and every right to express it.
This is about a smear campaign, physical stalking (picketing in front of Armstrong’s home), and invasive behavior, no matter how much Armstrong tries to ignore this guy.

If the AG has a definition of cyber bullying in the code of state law, and his assist is ENGAGING in it, then he IS behaving with conduct unbecoming the office. When one is a public representative of a law enforcement agent, one’s off hours still require behavior and actions that are conducive to the protections of the rights of others.
An AG and his reps cannot engage in anything that contradicts that and expect to be credible.

What is it about the ADF and so called Christians like Shirvell and Cox that decide that a specific Christian commandment about bearing false witness is forgiven when the target is gay?

Timothy Kincaid

September 30th, 2010

I’m not sure exactly how libel laws could apply. Perhaps Armstrong is enough of a “public person” that he is exempt from protection, but Shirvell also attacks Armstrong’s friends and the family of those friends. Like James Hartline, his targets of blame include the most tangentially related persons.

Timothy Kincaid

September 30th, 2010

Perhaps more interesting is why Cox is keeping someone on his staff who is CLEARLY intellectually challenged. Look at this series of posts:

First, Armstrong held a party for friends at his dorm room. A few facebooked that they had fun. Shirvell took this comment:

Had a blast last night. Thank you for hosting the night of
homosexual shenanigans.

to mean that the party was an orgy.

Put “homosexual” in front of “shenanigans” and it is quite apparent that Habratowski was indeed referring to a “gay” orgy.

The fact that Armstrong would host a homosexual orgy – at his U of M dorm no less – is sickening.

Responding, Armstrong’s friends mocked Shirvell’s histrionics in a series of ridiculous comments such as:

Oh my god, yes! I had so much sex that night! What a fabulous night of homosexual shenanigans.


Apparently you host the best gay orgies. . . Ever!

Shirvell took them at face value and as confirmation that the party was indeed an orgy. Even the way-over-the-top comment:

I miss you and our rampant sexual adventures with multiple people at multiple locations such as churches and children’s playgrounds. Maybe some day in the future ;)

played into Shirvell’s paranoid imaginings:

Was Roberts merely being facetious? Perhaps. But the overwhelming evidence says otherwise.

First, Armstrong’s reaction to the post is telling. Like other recent FB posts from Armstrong’s friends that in any way mention Armstrong’s sexual promiscuity, Roberts’ post was deleted in short order, according to several sources. This shows yet again Armstrong’s tendency to cover-up unpleasant truths.

Second, according to sources familiar with Armstrong’s so-called inner circle, Roberts is indeed close with Armstrong, and it is supposedly well-known in Ann Arbor’s radical homosexual community that they have “hooked-up here and there.”

Third, highly promiscuous homosexual men, such as Armstrong, are often arrested at night in public parks for engaging in public sex acts. Frequently, homosexual men meet at the parks’ public facilities, such as restrooms, and children’s playgrounds can usually be found in close proximity.

This is not just “poor judgment” or “political opinion”. This is weird stuff, the sort of ranting that hints at mental illness. This sort of thing is more James Hartline than anything else and should give ANY employer concern.

Andrew Shirvell should never be conducting the state’s legal business. Not for his views (which are peculiar and obsessive) but because he quite clearly is incapable of evaluating language, recognizing sarcasm, or (and this is essential to the legal trade) applying even the most basic of logical thought to a situation.

He simply isn’t mentally well enough, and is a liability to the State.

Chris McCoy

September 30th, 2010

I know emotions are running high due to the confluence of recent events, but the reality is, the AG has a valid point – the writings of Mr Shirvell are detestable, but he has a Constitutional Right to say them.

The 1st Amendment protects our right to say things that other people find offensive, just as it protects Mr Shirvell’s right to say things that offend us.

Is Mr Shirvell a cyber-bully? Absolutely. Is being a cyber-bully a constitutionally protected activity? Yes.

Anderson Cooper mentioned in the previous video that was linked here at BTB, that Mr Armstrong is pursuing legal action against Mr Shirvell. The Court of Law is the proper place for this to play out.

Emily K

September 30th, 2010

The legal guy on AC also said he has a guaranteed right to free speech – NOT a guaranteed right to a job.

I can’t go work for a factory and then start spouting off industry secrets on a blog and expect to keep my job. That’s ridiculous. I’d be a detriment to the company; of course I should be fired in that case.

Likewise, Shirvell shouldn’t be able to breach cyber-bullying measures while holding the position of a person who is supposed to see that those measures are enforced, and the citizenry protected.


October 1st, 2010

This AG is dancing as best he can, and he’s NOT defending the AAG — he’s clear about his distaste for this person’s behavior, and he’s clear about this person being a bully. There are, however, limits to what he can do effectively from a legal and a political standpoint, and he also has to be wise about the best way to allow this to play out. It makes no sense to expose the state of MI to a huge lawsuit, and potentially inadvertantly uphold Shirvell’s rights here when other remedies — better remedies — exist. I think it’s absolutely true that the best place for this to play out is in court… and on TV, frankly. Shame is can also be a very effective corrective measure. Now, once a cease-and-desist order exists, things can change rapidly. Failure to respect a court order has immediate and obvious repurcussions.

In the meantime, what do we have here is critical — a conservative voice in the AG saying “that behavior is wrong”. Now it’s up to Armstrong to stand up and sue the living crap out of this a-hole.


October 1st, 2010

Emily K, the difference here is the fact that Andrew has a govenment job, not a private one. The First Amendment protects your speech from retribution from the government. I don’t envy Cox’s position. Its quite a sticky wicket. The dude is clearly nuts, but he hasn’t broken the law, and I doubt he signed any contract that covered this. Already the ACLU has taken Andrew’s side, and says “the answer to hate speech is more speech”. A lawsuit is inevitable since Cox has reversed his posiation and suspended Andrew. I’m not sure what the right thing is; it’s not as clear-cut as the Chambliss staffer’s death threat.

Chris McCoy

October 1st, 2010

Ryan wrote:

A lawsuit is inevitable since Cox has reversed his posiation and suspended Andrew.

The AG is saying that it’s a voluntary leave of absence and he was not suspended.

However, Mr Shirvell has made the blog not publicly viewable.

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.


Latest Posts

The Things You Learn from the Internet

"The Intel On This Wasn't 100 Percent"

From Fake News To Real Bullets: This Is The New Normal

NC Gov McCrory Throws In The Towel

Colorado Store Manager Verbally Attacks "Faggot That Voted For Hillary" In Front of 4-Year-Old Son

Associated Press Updates "Alt-Right" Usage Guide

A Challenge for Blue Bubble Democrats

Baptist Churches in Dallas, Austin Expelled Over LGBT-Affirming Stance

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.