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Judge to Macomb County Clerk: Stop harassing your employees

Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger
Macomb Daily
Karen Spranger before she became Macomb County Clerk

There have been so many twists and turns and controversies since voters elected anti-government activist Karen Spranger as county clerk, it would make a pretty good soap opera.

The latest: A circuit court judge has issued a temporary restraining order directing Spranger to stop threatening and harassing her employees.  That's after internal grievances, which were upheld, failed to stop her behavior, which includes threats to fire people.

The union will ask for a permanent restraining order on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Spranger also sued Google on Friday, to try to stop it from complying with a subpoena from the county sheriff. The sheriff is investigating whether she lied about where she was living when she filed to run for clerk. That would be perjury -- a felony -- if she did.

Earlier this year, Spranger sued Macomb County to try to get a judge's order saying she is allowed to do what she wants in the management of her office, including firing union workers under contract, despite such actions being violations of state and federal labor law.

The county has counter-sued, saying Spranger does not hold her office legitimately, because she was not living at the address she put on her application to run for county clerk.

Spranger did not return a phone call asking for comment.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Radio. She began her career at Michigan Radio as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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