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Detroit – A former lawyer with the state of Michigan who had intense hostility for a gay college student has lost an appeal to keep his law license.

Andrew Shirvell’s 2017 disbarment was affirmed Tuesday by the Attorney Discipline Board.

Shirvell was an assistant attorney general. He was fired in 2010 after criticizing Christopher Armstrong on an anti-gay blog, on Facebook and during visits to the University of Michigan. The controversy made headlines.

Shirvell says he was exercising free-speech rights. But the Attorney Discipline Board says the attacks against Armstrong were “hostile and vindictive.” The board says Shirvell “demonstrated an egregious failure of professional judgment and character.”

In a separate matter, a jury in 2012 ordered Shirvell to pay $4.5 million to Armstrong, who was a student government leader.

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