MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. – A glitch in the Macomb County courts on Monday was caused by some overspending on a county credit card, and officials said Clerk Karen Spranger is again at the center of the controversy.
The expenses were for a national conference, and Spranger said if the county would stop fighting her on whether to hire an administrative assistant, she would have known about the limit on the card.
But Macomb County officials said after 14 months on the job, Spranger should have known about it anyway.
The Macomb County court likely didn't receive any documents faxed on Monday. Three fax lines were out of service because the autopay on them was declined. After a day-long investigation, employees traced it all to Spranger's credit card being over the limit.
"What we learned late last week is that she maxed out the credit card with your name on it (when she) checked out of her conference in Washington, D.C.," Macomb County Deputy Executive Mark Deldin said.
The statement shows a five-day hotel stay charge of nearly $3,000, plus other expenses.
"I think it's more of their miscalculation of communications," Spranger said.
Spranger said over the phone that she was never told about a limit on the card. She said this is more wrangling by the committee conspiring against her.
"I can't make decisions on the budget, so how can I control this credit card?" Spranger asked. "They're blaming it on me, when really, the responsibility goes back to this committee, because if the committee was monitoring everything, they should've caught the error."
"The fact that we've taken away her budget -- we have not," Deldin said. "We are using the 2017 numbers, so there's no excuse there."
"I don't hold grudges," Spranger said. "I want to get things done. I want to be effective. If it's not communicated to me effectively, or back to them, then responsibility is somewhere in the middle."
Full coverage of Karen Spranger
March 13, 2017: Spranger seeks lawyer for court battle with Hackel
June 28, 2017: Spranger's employees working in fear after security removed
Sept. 22, 2017: Spranger accused of moving, hiding computers overnight
Sept. 28, 2017: Judge rules against Spranger in 'toxic work environment' case
Oct. 25, 2017: Spranger caught on video covering up court order
Nov. 9, 2017: Spranger fails to meet judges' backlog deadline
Nov. 21, 2017: Union files motion to hold Spranger in contempt of court
Nov. 29, 2017: Contempt of court hearing held for Spranger
Nov. 30, 2017: Spranger appears before Board of Commissioners
Nov. 30, 2017: Spranger grilled over massive backlog in her office
Dec. 11, 2017: Judge hears arguments on Spranger's firing of employees
Jan. 8, 2018: Spranger puts Macomb County hiring on hold
Jan. 31, 2018: Attorney for Spranger says register of deeds threatened him
Feb. 27, 2018: Spranger takes conspiracy allegations to federal court
March 13, 2018: Officials claim glitch at courts caused by Spranger maxing out credit card