Marino threatened to 'destroy' Manoogian, text messages show

PPO granted against Marino, who was stripped of committee assignments
Posted at 6:12 PM, Sep 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-22 15:33:09-04

LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — Rep. Steve Marino verbally and physically threatened his ex-girlfriend, fellow state Rep. Mari Manoogian, and vowed to “destroy” her, according to Manoogian’s application for a personal protection order.

The order was recently granted by an Ingham County judge.

“Face to face and over text,” Manoogian wrote, “Steve began threatening me and harassing me. It has escalated to a point where I fear for my safety and for Steve’s own safety.”

The two briefly dated, Manoogian said, for about four months back in 2019. She said the harassment has been ongoing since January of 2020. Manoogian included screen shots of text messages she says she received.

In one text, Marino is quoted as saying: “I’m making it my life mission to destroy you.”

Later in the same conversation, he tells Manoogian: “Hope your car explodes on the way in.”

Many of the messages are laced with obscenities.

In another text, Marino writes: “Hide on the House Floor…because I’m going to park right next to your desk and ream you a new (expletive) each session day until I leave that place.”

Last week, Marino was stripped of his committee assignments by House Speaker Jason Wentworth. Today, the Michigan State Police are investigating.

Marino is barred from going to Manoogian’s home but not barred from working at the state capitol.

The PPO was granted ex parte, meaning without a hearing, which surprised family law attorney Chuck Kroznek.

“Anytime something happens ex-parte, there usually has to be an allegation or suspicion that there may be immediate and irreparable harm,” he said.

Marino’s attorney Mike Rataj said by phone that the text messages quoted by Manoogian are out of context and that he plans to file a motion to have the PPO set aside in the next week.

“Often times what happens in these domestic PPO cases is that the attorneys talk, they try to find other resolutions,” Kroznek said. “PPOs are significant indeed, to say the least, so I would anticipate some discussions—if not between attorneys, which is the norm, then perhaps between the political leaders.