Macomb County GOP lawmaker removed from committee assignments in rare move

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click to enlarge State Rep. Steve Marino. - Michigan House of Representatives
Michigan House of Representatives
State Rep. Steve Marino.

State Rep. Steve Marino was stripped of his legislative committee assignments on Tuesday, a rare move that is usually reserved as a form of discipline.

The Harrison Township Republican was removed from his chairmanship of the coveted Commerce Committee and replaced by Pauline Wendzel, R-Waterliet.

House Speaker Jason Wentworth, R-Farwell, wouldn’t say why he removed Marino from his committee duties.

"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," Wentworth’s spokesman Gideon D'Assandro told Metro Times in a statement. "The speaker trusts Rep. Wendzel to carefully review important legislation related to Michigan’s economy and make strong recommendations to the rest of the House of Representatives."

Metro Times couldn’t reach Marino for comment.

Marino, a former lobbyist and one-term Macomb County commissioner, was first elected to his House seat in November 2016.

His political career was not without controversy.

In a secret recording during his first campaign, Marino claimed he was pressured to pay a bar tab for former state Rep. Al Pscholka’s daughter’s “Jewish wedding.” Marino later retracted the comments and said he was joking.

In 2016, Marino canceled a waterfront fundraiser after it was revealed that the host was Jennifer Franklin, who was indicted in an opioid drug ring.

In March 2020, the FBI interviewed Marino about allegations that he pressured state Rep. Larry Inman, who was indicted on charges of attempted extortion, bribery and lying to an FBI agent, to change his vote on Michigan’s prevailing wage law.

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About The Author

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling is an award-winning investigative journalist who operated Motor City Muckraker, an online news site devoted to exposing abuses of power and holding public officials accountable. Neavling also hosted Muckraker Report on 910AM from September 2017 to July 2018. Before launching Motor City Muckraker,...
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