Judge denies Eastpointe mayor’s request for protection order against councilman

By: Brian Wells | Roseville-Eastpointe Eastsider | Published October 13, 2022

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EASTPOINTE — While a Macomb County Circuit Court Judge found an Eastpointe councilman’s behavior “admittedly inappropriate,” she denied a request for a personal protection order filed by the city’s mayor.

In an opinion issued by Circuit Court Judge Rachel Rancilio Sept. 23, she denied a request for a PPO by Eastpointe Mayor Monique Owens against Councilman Harvey Curley.

“In this context, the Court is well aware of the parties’ dislike for each other; however, that is not a basis to which a Personal Protection Order would be entered by the court,” the opinion states. “Upon examining the specific facts of this case, the Court does not feel that the conduct exhibited by (Curley) warrants the issuance of a Personal Protection Order.”

According to a report filed with the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office, Owens alleged that she was assaulted by Curley while at the opening ceremonies for the annual Gratiot cruise on June 18.

Court documents state that a petition was filed for a PPO on June 22, and on June 23, the court denied the request, stating that it needed more evidence. A hearing was scheduled for Aug. 23.

Curley, who serves as the event’s chairman, testified at the Aug. 23 hearing that the event was supposed to be apolitical in nature, according to court documents. However, between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., Owens approached the stage and sat down with several other dignitaries who were scheduled to speak. Owens testified she did not intend to speak.

After Curley made closing remarks, a DJ in charge of the event encouraged Owens to speak, according to court documents. Court records also show that, while testifying, Curley admitted that he “got mad” when Owens was speaking. A witness who also testified at the Aug. 23 hearing stated he saw Curley “throw down a clipboard and punch a stage wall with a closed fist.”

The witness stated Curley then began yelling at Owens in an aggressive and confrontational manner and followed her down the stairs of the stage with his hands up, yelling at her, according to court documents.

In the report filed with the Sheriff’s Office, it is stated that Owens said she felt “immediate fear, panic and intimidation.”

“She asked him to go away, but he became more aggressive, causing her to feel that a physical assault was imminent,” the report states.

Owens then asked for help from several Eastpointe police officers and dignitaries at the event, the report states.

At recent City Council meetings, a number of residents have voiced their support of Curley during the audience comment portion of the meeting.

“It made me feel that I’m respected in the city, and the people understand what’s going on,” he said. “I felt very proud of that.”

Curley said he feels relieved to be able to put the incident behind him.

“I can go on with my life now,” he said.

He doesn’t think the incident will cause any problems going forward.

“When we’re at that council table, I respect the chair, I respect madam mayor,” he said. “We have a job to do to get Eastpointe on the path of being on the right path.”

When reached, Owens declined to comment.