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MSP investigates domestic abuse allegation against lawmaker

Michigan State Police patrol vehicle shield
Michigan State Police

State Representative Steve Marino has been removed from his committee assignments.

That’s as the Michigan State Police investigate threats he allegedly made against another lawmaker, Representative Mari Manoogian.

The State Police confirmed an investigation into allegations of domestic abuse, but would not provide any other details.

Manoogian, a Democrat from Birmingham, issued this statement:

“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 am 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.”

The decision to remove Marino from two committees was made by House Speaker Jason Wentworth.

Wentworth issued this statement:

“I will always prioritize the safety of state legislators and those who are serving their community at the state Capitol. Once I learned of this situation, I took immediate action. Going forward, the House is honoring Rep. Manoogian's request for privacy while others look into the allegations.

“The House will continue to assist with the Michigan State Police investigation, take every precaution to ensure Rep. Manoogian's safety, and ultimately allow the legal process to play out. We will be able to provide further updates at the appropriate time.”

Marino, a Republican from Macomb County, chaired the House Commerce and Tourism Committee before he lost the gavel, and was also taken off the Local Government and Municipal Finance Committee.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.