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Judge: Karen Spranger out as Macomb County clerk, was not legally elected

Karen Spranger
Sarah Cwiek
Michigan Radio
Karen Spranger was ousted as Macomb County Clerk Tuesday.

Karen Spranger is no longer the Macomb County Clerk and Register of Deeds.

A judge ruled Tuesday that Spranger was not legally elected, and therefore can no longer serve in the position she has held since 2016. The decision is effective immediately.

St. Clair County Judge Daniel Kelly ruled that Spranger lied about her residency in election filings. Court filings state that Spranger listed a home in Warren as her residence, but Macomb County officials argued that the house was uninhabitable, since it had no running water or electricity. The house was subsequently found filled chest-high with trash and with wild animals using it as shelter. 

Spranger claims she was too poor to have utilities. 

John Schapka is Macomb County corporation counsel. He says a majority vote by Macomb County's circuit court judges will choose Spranger's replacement. That person will hold office until the next election, in November.
Spranger's term was not short on controversy, to say the least. From multiple lawsuits to restraining orders to court order violations, Spranger's erratic behavior has earned press attention since before she took office.

Emma is a communications specialist with the digital team at Michigan Radio. She works across all departments at Michigan Radio, with a hand in everything from digital marketing and fundraising to graphic design and website maintenance. She also produces the station's daily newsletter, The Michigan Radio Beat.
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