April 17, 2012 - 9:02pm
BY RAYZA GOLDSMITH
Andrew Shirvell, a former Michigan assistant attorney general, received disappointing news today when U.S. District Judge Arthur Tarnow ruled to move forward with the trial for a lawsuit filed by former student body president Chris Armstrong — the ﬁrst openly gay president of the Michigan Student Assembly, now called the Central Student Government — against Shirvell.
Shirvell ﬁled a motion to dismiss Armstrong’s case against him before the ruling today. His motion claimed the statements he made about Armstrong on the blog he created in 2010 called “Chris Armstrong Watch” were protected by free speech. In addition to moving Armstrong’s case to trial, the judge ruled to throw out the counter lawsuit Shirvell ﬁled against Armstrong. Shirvell also previously ﬁled a lawsuit against Armstrong’s lawyer Deborah Gordon including a torturous interference claim Tarnow dismissed.
The judge’s orders come just weeks after Shirvell’s termination from his position with the Michigan Attorney General’s office was conﬁrmed by William Hutchens, a hearing officer at the Michigan Civil Service Commission.
Shirvell said despite the setback, he plans to appeal the judge’s decision.
“I think it’s obviously the wrong decision and I will appeal it at the appropriate time,” Shirvell said. “I’m conﬁdent that those claims that I have against Mr. Armstrong will ultimately be reinstated against him and that we’ll have a future trial on that.”
Gordon said the judge made the right decision.
“We feel obviously that the correct thing happened,” Gordon said. “(Shirvell’s) counter claim against Chris that he ﬁled against Chris after we sued him has no legal merit. His claim against me has no legal merit.”
This is a developing story. Check back at michigandaily.com for updates.