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Former Macomb County Clerk charged with larceny, now in custody

Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger
Macomb Daily

Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith announced his office has filed larceny felony charges against former Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger.

Spranger is accused of stealing $1,660 from a 78-year old Warren resident's bank account in March, using the woman's ATM card without her permission.  Spranger was living in the woman's home at the time to provide caregiving services.

The larceny charge is a five-year felony, says Smith.

Update: 5:45 p.m.

A spokesperson from the Warren Police Department has confirmed that Spranger is now in custody. 

Original post: 12:45 p.m.

The Warren Police Department has been looking for Spranger without success since the time of the alleged crime, saying it's believed she is homeless and has been staying at various hotels in the metro Detroit area.

Smith appealed to Spranger to turn herself in.

In 2016, Spranger ran as a Republican for Macomb County Clerk, and won.

Her tenure was chaotic, marred by numerous battles with county unions, the Board of Commissioners, and county officials, including Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel.

County unions filed and won nearly two dozen grievances against her for creating a hostile workplace and various other violations of their contracts with the county.

Spranger and the county were also sued by two former employees, who said she fired them for notifying the county of her ethical violations.

She also unsuccessfully sued the county several times, claiming their actions to protect union workers from being fired and restore order in the Clerk's office violated her rights under the U.S. Constitution.

She was removed from office in March, 2018, after a court concluded she had lied about where she was living on her application to run for office.

An investigation found that the Warren home she claimed to be residing in was filled with garbage and uninhabitable, with no water or other utility service, and with raccoons and other wild animals living inside.

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