Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger requests $100K to pay for her ongoing legal battles

Spranger receives tongue-lashing after request

MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. – Embattled Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger went before the county Board of Commissioners Tuesday to request $100,000 for attorney fees.

Instead, Spranger received a tongue-lashing from board members.

There are multiple lawsuits going on with Spranger, the biggest of which she filed against the county Board of Commissioners. In a countersuit from the Executive's Office, Spranger is being sued.

MOREJudge rules against Spranger in 'toxic work environment' case

Spranger is also being sued by the employee's union, which is what brought her before the board on Tuesday.

In other words, Spranger is asking the same board she's suing to give her $100,000 to defend her in the separate lawsuit.

Board members were extremely frustrated with her answers, or lack thereof, as they put it, to their questions.

READ: Employee calls 911 after Spranger asks to look through her purse

"So you can't go to corporation council because you're in litigation," Vice Chair Jim Carabelli said. "You can't go to the Executive's Office because you're in litigation. You're in litigation with this board, as well. You are confusing me and using crutches of trying to get something that you're looking for, and I am not sure what you're looking for. Do you realize you are also in litigation with us?"

"I do," Spranger answered.

"But yet you use that as an excuse for corporation council," Carabelli said. "You use that as an excuse for the Executive's Office. You're not clear enough to me to warrant any expenditures of taxpayers' dollars because, you know what, you are charged with the job, and you've got responsibilities. But within those responsibilities there are rules that you have to follow, and rules that are set up contractually. You might not like them, but you have to follow them."

RESIDENCY BATTLE: Neighbor says home listed as clerk's primary residence overrun with raccoons

Carabelli's statements were echoed by a few other board members. The meeting turned into a referendum on Spranger's job at times.

The Board said it wasn't satisfied that Spranger has done her due diligence to be asking for $100,000 in taxpayer money, so vote was 11-0 to deny her request.

There are 22 employee grievances that have been filed against Spranger. In the history of the county, according to the Board, there have been numerous grievances filed against employees, but none have ever been sided with by the county on the employee's side. All 22 have been sided with the employee against Spranger.

FLASHBACK: Spranger caught hiding moving boxes to block move to new building

Full coverage of Karen Spranger

Jan. 19, 2017: Spranger barred from using county computers after violating security protocols

March 13, 2017: Spranger seeks lawyer for court battle with Hackel

April 11, 2017: Spranger hides in bathroom to avoid questions about dispute with county board

April 20, 2017Macomb County Clerk fined for ethics violation amid dispute with county board

April 20, 2017Macomb County clerk crashes county car after being fined for ethics violation

April 24, 2017Neighbor says home listed as Spranger's primary residence overrun with raccoons

May 3, 2017Emails reveal another battle between Spranger and Macomb County officials

May 4, 2017Spranger caught hiding moving boxes to block move to new building

May 9, 2017Legal battle troubles intensify for Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger

May 10, 2017Judge orders Spranger to cooperate with move to new building

May 17, 2017Spranger answers claims that her office is 'hostile work environment'

June 19, 2017Simple report turns heated between Spranger and county officials

June 22, 2017Macomb County clerk files suit to allow firearms inside government buildings

June 28, 2017Spranger's employees working in fear after security removed

July 20, 2017Spranger accused of perjury over 'uninhabitable' home in Warren

Aug. 1, 2017Lawsuit announced against Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger

Aug. 14, 2017Employee calls 911 after Spranger asks to look through her purse

Sept. 22, 2017Spranger accused of moving, hiding computers overnight

Sept. 28, 2017Judge rules against Spranger in 'toxic work environment' case

Oct. 21, 2017: Spranger's totaled car among items up for bids at Macomb County auction

Oct. 25, 2017Spranger caught on video covering up court order

Oct. 27, 2017Union files restraining order against Spranger over 'hostile workplace'

Oct. 27, 2017Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger sues Google amid residency battle

Nov. 1, 2017Employee blames Spranger for huge online backlog at office

Nov. 7, 2017: Spranger requests $100K to pay for her ongoing legal battles

About the Authors:

Jason anchors Local 4's 5:30 p.m. newscast. He joined WDIV in January 2015 as a general assignment reporter and has a Journalism degree from Michigan State University.