Rep. Steve Marino, R-Harrison Township, has been released from a personal protection order obtained by his former girlfriend, fellow Rep. Mari Manoogian, D-Birmingham. An Ingham County judge lifted the order Wednesday.
Ingham County Circuit Judge Lisa McCormick in a Wednesday order said testimony and exhibits reviewed during a hearing last week showed the behavior of Democratic Rep. Mari Manoogian made it difficult for Republican Rep. Steve Marino to know what was acceptable.
Manoogian and Marino, McCormick wrote, "often engaged in offensive, and sometimes violent, vulgar language when talking with each other and discussing other individuals, including coworkers.
"While petitioner had no problem with this type of language when directed at other people, once directed at her, she claimed a fear that respondent would harm her," McCormick wrote.
After the ruling, House Speaker Jason Wentworth announced Marino would be re-appointeed to the committees he had been serving on, including Appropriations and several subcommittees. However, he would not return to the House Commerce and Tourism Committee, where he would work with Manoogian.
Manoogian, now 32, and Marino, 29, had a four-month relationship in 2019 that soured. Manoogian claimed she feared Marino might harm her, based on texts the Macomb County Republican sent her after their breakup. He wrote that he hoped "her car explodes on the way in" and that she should "hide on the House floor."
In testimony last Friday to McCormick during a hearing than ran nearly four hours, Manoogian voiced fears about potential harm if the protection order is removed:
"I'm more fearful today than I've ever been of [Marino]. ... Because it is now out in the open, I believe that if there isn't anything to prohibit him from contacting me or being near me, there will be retaliatory behavior for all that has occurred here. ... [I believe] he would carry out a threat against me.
"I'm very scared. I don't know how else to say it: I'm very scared."