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Disgraced former county clerk Karen Spranger appeals to Michigan governor

In a surprise to no one, former Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger is not quietly accepting her fate after being removed from office last week.

Spranger's 15-month tenure was marked by chaos and numerous lawsuits and union grievances. By virtually all accounts, she was incompetent, paranoid, and hostile. A circuit court judge eventually removed her authority to run the clerk's office because she refused to let employees and supervisors do their jobs, and crucial county business was coming to a standstill.

That circuit court judge then agreed with a lawsuit filed by Macomb County, and found Spranger was ineligible to be on the ballot in November 2016, because she didn't live in Macomb County at the time, as she claimed on her application to file to run for county clerk. She was immediately removed.

On Monday, Spranger filed a document in federal court in Detroit entitled Administrative Claim Notice of Administrative Overthrow Of a Constitutional Office Clerk of Court of Macomb County by Rogue County Agents.

Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger
Credit Macomb Daily
Karen Spranger had no political experience, and very little actual work experience, when she was elected county clerk - other than appearing at Warren City Council meetings, as shown here, wearing two hats, sunglasses, and a silver track suit, to protest electric smart meters

In the largely nonsensical pleading, rife with spelling errors, Spranger accuses a number of county officials of insurrection, rebellion and mutiny. She appears to appeal for help from Governor Rick Snyder, President Trump, and a blogger in North Carolina, Rodney Dale Class, whose website says he's a private attorney general and constitutional bounty hunter.  

So far there is no response to Spranger's plea from Governor Snyder, President Trump, or the constitutional bounty hunter.

Macomb County Circuit Court judges are expected to appoint an interim county clerk soon.

An election will be held in November for a permanent clerk. It's unclear if Spranger, were she to file to run with a legitimate Macomb County address as her residence, would be eligible to seek election for her old job.

Meanwhile, Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith says he’s still officially investigating a possible perjury charge, but says it’s much tougher to prove in a criminal case.

“It’s not a preponderance of the evidence, it’s beyond a reasonable doubt,” Smith said. “And we don’t take anything to court that we don’t feel we can prove.

“In the 25 years that I’ve been in the office, and it will be 25 years in July, we’ve prosecuted zero perjury cases. And the reason for that is, they’re extremely difficult to prove.”

Another Macomb sheriff’s investigation into a report of Spranger kicking a clerk’s office employee resulted in no charges. She still faces a criminal fraud investigation related to alleged misuse of travel expenses.


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.
Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Radio in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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