Michigan State Representative Mari Manoogian, who last week was granted a personal protection order against fellow state representative Steve Marino, in her filing for the order detailed threatening text messages allegedly sent by Marino to her following the end of their romantic relationship over a year ago.
In her filing, Manoogian stated:
I am afraid of Steve. He repeatedly tells me that he hopes I get in a car crash on my commute to Lansing, and that he hopes my car will blow up…He constantly berated me with obscenities, calling me a c—, a b—-, and telling me to go f— myself.
Marino has denied the charges.
… 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. I look forward to fulfilling my duties and maintaining the trust I’ve worked so hard to build during my seven years in public office.
Marino has been removed from his committee positions by Michigan House Speaker Jason Wentworth.
“Rep. Marino is no longer the chair of the Commerce Committee and no longer serves on the Local Government committee. Rep. Pauline Wendzel has been appointed to serve as the committee chair,” Gideon D’Assandro, a Wentworth spokesman, said in a statement.
The matter becomes even more complicated by dint of how it remains unclear whether the PPO would prevent Marino and Manoogian from both being on the Michigan House floor at the same time.
The PPO includes a stipulation preventing Marino from occupying the same property that Manoogian is on. It’s not yet clear how the order will be enforced Tuesday when House lawmakers are expected to return to session. The House Business Office as well as House sergeants and attorneys are still reviewing the matter, said Gideon D’Assandro, a spokesman for House Speaker Jason Wentworth, R-Farwell.
It bears mention that the Manoogian/Marino matter is not the only current situation regarding Michigan state legislators behaving badly. State Representative Jewel Jones has recently been removed from all committee assignments following his arrest on drunk driving charges.
House Speaker Jason Wentworth, R-Farwell, leveled the punishment Thursday, one day after Livingston County prosecutors say Jones tried to smuggle a handcuff key into jail after a judge revoked his bond and sent him to jail in connection with drunken driving and resisting arrest charges.
For the record, Manoogian is a Democrat and Marino is a Republican.