A “Fire Mike Cox” campaign appeared on Facebook this weekend, supplementing demands that the Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox’s underling Andrew Shirvell be fired.
An outraged public had been exerting pressure on Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox for days now to fire underling Andrew Shirvell. Shirvell signed out of the office for an undetermined sick leave that began Thursday in the wake of mounting publicity over his harassment of University of Michigan student president Chris Armstrong. Shirvell will be subject to a disciplinary hearing upon his return, various media sources have reported.
On Monday afternoon, a court in Ann Arbor will hear Armstrong’s request for a personal protection order against Shirvell.
The calls to fire Shirvell stemmed from Shirvell’s extended campaign of intimidation and harassment against Armstrong, who is gay. Shirvell has accused Armstrong of being a “Nazi-like recruiter” for the “cult” of homosexuality. Shirvell has pursued the University of Michigan student president Chris Armstrong at his home, his school, and social hangouts, with signs and shouts. He has accused Armstrong of criminal conduct, a claim he could not substantiate when called upon to do so by WXYZ.
Almost 14,000 people signed onto Facebook page We Support Chris by Saturday night while almost as many joined the page Fire Andrew Shirvell. A petition requesting that Mike Cox fire Shirvell on change.org had garnered nearly 3,000 votes by Sunday morning.
On Sunday a new Facebook page appeared demanding the firing of Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox for not firing Andrew Shirvell. Cox is a lame duck elected official, serving his last three months in office. A more likely outcome to the controversy over Cox’s failure to fire Shirvell is resignation, given the shortness of his remaining time as attorney general.
If Cox does not fire Shirvell before his own stint as attorney general expires, his successor will have to decide how to handle the Shirvell case. A general election Nov. 2 will decide who Michigan’s next attorney general will be. Democratic candidate David Leyton is running against Republican candidate Bill Schuette. According to Ballotpedia, the race is leaning Republican.
Leyton has taken a strong public stance on the firing of Shirvell. He called upon Cox to fire Shirvell last week, saying “It’s absolutely outrageous that Mike Cox continues to give Andrew Shirvell a generous taxpayer-funded salary, even while he cyber-stalks and intimidates a young college student. This type of conduct is unbecoming of the attorney general’s office, and it’s yet another example of why we need to clean up Lansing.”
Schuette has sided with Cox on the issue of firing Shirvell, saying, “when you’re not on the government job, you ought to be able to express your opinion,” according to MIRS news.
So far the Facebook page to support Chris begat a Facebook page to fire Shirvell which begat a Facebook page to fire Cox. Before long, there may be a Facebook page titled Defeat Bill Schuette if this high profile controversy over Shirvell’s retention in the AG’s office continues.
365gay.com; The Associated Press; “Michigan AG says that Shirvell’s blog on gay student is free speech”
Associated Content; Carol bengle Gilbert; “Andrew Shirvell Still Not Fired? Shame on AG Mike Cox!”
Facebook “We Support Chris Armstrong”
Facebook “Fire Andrew Shirvell”
Facebook “Fire Mike Cox”
Change.org petition “Michigan Attorney General Fire Anti-Gay Cyber-Bully Andrew Shirvell”
Ballotpedia AG Race Tracker
connectedmichigan.com; NBC25 Newsroom; “AG candidate comments about Shirvell’s attacks”