Despite being fired for misconduct in March of this year for allegedly stalking and harassing former student body president Chris Armstrong, former Michigan assistant attorney general Andrew Shirvell will begin receiving unemployment benefits as the result of an Oct. 17 decision by Ingham County Judge Paula Manderfield.

In August, Armstrong won $4.5 million in a defamation suit against Shirvell, who had allegedly harassed Armstrong for being openly gay on his blog “Chris Armstrong Watch,” claiming he had a “radical homosexual agenda.” Shirvell’s original request for unemployment benefits was denied due to the fact that he was dismissed for misconduct.

Lansing Judge Paula Manderfield granted Shirvell unemployment benefits, claiming that he “was fired for constitutionally protected speech” rather than misconduct, according to court documents.

Shirvell said he is unclear as to how the state will react to the Oct. 17 ruling, but there is a possibility the Attorney General’s office will appeal it.

“I’m going to say the decision speaks for itself.” Shirvell said. “It’s the correct decision, it’s right on point. You can’t deny someone unemployment benefits because it violates their constitutional rights and in this case the state’s denial of unemployment benefits clearly violates my constitutional rights to freedom expression.”

The Attorney General’s office did not return requests for comment.

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