House speaker names Rep. Marino to Approps committee following end of Rep. Manoogian’s PPO

By: - December 9, 2021 1:51 pm

Rep. Steve Marino (R-Harrison Twp.) at a House Commerce and Tourism Committee hearing, Feb. 23, 2021 | Screenshot

After a judge on Wednesday chose to discontinue a personal protection order (PPO) state Rep. Mari Manoogian ((D-Birmingham) filed against state Rep. Steve Marino (R-Harrison Twp.), House Speaker Jason Wentworth (R-Clare) wasted little time promoting the Republican to the most important committee in the chamber.

Marino had in September been stripped of his committee posts after Manoogian alleged that he had committed domestic abuse against her. According to court documents, Marino said he was making it his “life mission to destroy [her]” and he hoped her car would explode on her way to work.

Rep. Mari Manoogian | House Democrats photo

Manoogian secured a PPO from 30th Circuit Judge Lisa McCormick on Sept. 17. That order ran out on Wednesday, however, after McCormick determined that the Democrat did not meet the burden of proof for the PPO to continue.

“I took immediate action to separate Rep. Marino and Rep. Manoogian’s committee assignments, honor the personal protection order and assist the Michigan State Police with their investigation while the legal process played out. That process has now reached its end and Rep. Marino will soon be returning to work at the Capitol,” Wentworth said Wednesday.

“It is time for everyone involved to move forward and return to focusing on the work they were sent here to do.”

In the statement, Wentworth announced that Marino, a former lobbyist, will now serve on the House Appropriations Committee, including the subcommittees on Agriculture and Rural Development and General Government. He will be replacing state Rep. Andrew Fink (R-Hillsdale) on the full appropriations committee and state Rep. Jeff Yaroch (R-Richmond) on the subcommittee.

Previously, Marino had served as chair of the House Commerce and Tourism committee and had been a member of the Local Government and Municipal Finance Committee.

“I look forward to seeing him put his experience to work on future budget action,” Wentworth said.

Manoogian has expressed in court documents that she fears for her life and is afraid to be in the same building as Marino, while the Republican has said the allegations are “nothing more than politically motivated character assassination.” 

Manoogian asked for an extension of the PPO at a hearing last week, but McCormick wrote Wednesday that “[Manoogian’s] behavior made it impossible for [Marino] to know what was acceptable from one day to the next” and denied the order’s continuation.

A spokesperson for House Minority Leader Donna Lasinski (D-Scio Twp.) did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Laina G. Stebbins
Laina G. Stebbins

Laina G. Stebbins covers the environment, Native issues and criminal justice for the Advance. A lifelong Michigander, she is a graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Journalism, where she served as Founding Editor of The Tab Michigan State and as a reporter for the Capital News Service. When Laina is not writing or spending time with her cats, she loves art and design, listening to music, playing piano, enjoying good food and being out in nature (especially Up North).