Manoogian files abuse complaint against lawmaker
Second-term state Rep. Mari Manoogian (D-Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township) has filed a complaint for domestic abuse against a Macomb state lawmaker who was stripped of his committee assignments earlier this week.
The complaint against Rep. Steve Marino (R-Harrison Township) is now under investigation by Michigan State Police, according to House Speaker Jason Wentworth (R-Farwell), who removed Marino from all committee assignments at the start of this week, including chairmanship of the Commerce Committee on which Manoogian also serves.
Manoogian did not divulge the nature of the abuse by her Republican colleague. However, there have been reports that Marino had supposedly sent threatening messages to Manoogian. Michigan State Police said the investigation was in the initial phase and no further information would be available until a later date. Calls to Manoogian from Downtown Newsmagazine were referred to the Michigan State Police.
Manoogian did issue the following statement on Wednesday:
"The unfortunate reality is that many people in our society have experienced domestic abuse, which often comes from someone we would never expect. None of us are immune to a volatile relationship regardless of our career. It can happen right here in our legislature where abuse of power and threats to ruin a colleague's reputation, as well as threats of public shaming, can be used to intimidate fellow members of the legislature. I'm asking for privacy as I take steps to ensure my safety while I continue to represent my district and do the work of the people."
Marino on Thursday issued a statement denying the charges made by Manooigan, while admitting that the two had a personal relationship which he said ended one year ago.
Marino's statement included the following: "However, I will be clear: the insinuations made are nothing more than politically motivated character assassination that I am confident will conclude as a waste of the public's time." The Republiican Macomb County state lawmaker also said he regretted agreeing to what he said was Manoogian's suggestion that they not tell House leadership about their relationship.
On Friday, September 17, Manoogian petitioned the circuit courting in Lansing and was granted a personal protection order which prevents Marino from being present on property occupied by Manoogian, a violation of which could result in jail time.
Manoogian, age 29, the youngest member of the state legislature, was first elected in 2008, flipping her current district which had been controlled by Republicans. Prior to her election, she worked in the U.S. Department of State and for Samantha Power, former Ambassador to the United Nations.
Marino, age 31, is in his third and final term as a House member.