Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger solves long wait times by bringing in benches for customers

Some customers waiting more than 1 hour for services

MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. – Instead of replacing or reinstating the 10 employees the Macomb County clerk's office is lacking, County Clerk Karen Spranger brought benches into the office for customers waiting to be assisted this week.

A woman who has been waiting two months to get her mother's birth certificate still has not gotten it.

The average wait time in the office is 47 minutes. Some people who visit the clerk's office are waiting more than an hour to be served.

The county said that under former Clerk Carmela Sabaugh, the average wait times were under 10 minutes.

The wait times recently got so bad that employees said some customers were forced to sit on the floor, so Spranger brought benches into the lobby that she sanded and cleaned for them. The benches were later removed.

On Thursday, the Board of Commissioners served Spranger with an order that gives her until Nov. 28 to detail in writing and in person what is happening in her office.

"It's time now to get some straight answers," Macomb County Commissioner Robert Leonetti said. "You're talking about the general public's safety, you're talking about people's lives, and so these questions have to be answered."

If the answers are deemed unresponsive, the board can move to have her removed from office. 

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

Nov. 9, 2017Spranger's office given Thursday deadline to clear e-filing backlog

Nov. 9, 2017Spranger fails to meet judges' backlog deadline

Nov. 9, 2017: Spranger solves long wait times by bringing in benches for customers 



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.