In Ann Arbor, Michigan, Attorney General Andrew Shrivell is being charged with stalking and being given a restraining order. Anthony Shrivell is an assistant attorney general for the State of Michigan. He is a former student of the University of Michigan, who began protesting against a student, Chris Armstrong, who is the openly gay president of the University’s student council. The attorney general is apparently an anti-homosexual advocate, and claims that Armstrong has a “radical homosexual agenda” to “recruit students to the homosexual lifestyle”. He started a website aimed against Armstrong’s supposed agenda. He also has been following Armstrong to rallies, which resulted in him being banned from the University of Michigan campus. Even after his ban, he has followed Armstrong on campus and made a video of campus police shutting down a party at his dorm room. This is when the student decided to get a restraining order against the assistant attorney general. Andrew Shrivell’s boss, Attorney General Mike Cox, has refused to fire him, claiming that he has First Amendment rights, and that he does not feel that Shrivell’s actions give him license to fire him. Gov. Jennifer Granholm of Michigan, the former attorney general, claims that she would have fired him immediately.
From a public relations perspective, one of the questions that can be asked is: Will it bring in bad publicity for the current attorney general to refuse to fire Shrivell?
In my opinion, Andrew Shrivell’s actions are very extreme and could constitute firing. He could have approached the situation differently and still voiced his concern and disapproval with the student’s “radical gay recruitment plan”. However, Shrivell showed extremity and hatred by following the student around to rallies, creating a hateful website, and even making a video of him in his college dorm room. This is extreme behavior that should not be taken lightly by the current attorney general, and in my opinion, it is likely to bring in PR to the attorney general and all those involved. I feel that the attorney general should express more concern with Shrivell’s actions, in order to avoid appearing insensitive to the issue/the severity of his actions. If he does not handle the issue carefully, It could likely bring in a lot of negative attention from the public and from gay rights groups.