Karen Spranger pleads no contest to lesser charge in larceny case

Former Macomb County clerk accepts plea deal

Ex-Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger at her arraignment for larceny charge. (WDIV)

Former Macomb County clerk Karen Spranger has pleaded no contest to a lesser charge in a case accusing her of stealing money from a 78-year-old woman in her care.

Spranger was charged with larceny, which is a felony, but pleaded no contest Wednesday to the lesser misdemeanor charge of disturbing the peace. She also will have to immediately pay $1,660 in restitution.

That’s the amount she was accused of stealing from a 78-year-old friend she was taking care of. Pictures from a Chase Bank in January 2019 show Spranger making the withdrawals allegedly without permission from the victim.

Police said she was using the 78-year-old woman’s debit card during the transactions. In all, the Macomb County prosecutor said Spranger made eight withdrawals worth $1,660 between Jan. 1 and Jan. 8.

Officials said Spranger was taking care of the woman since September 2018. At some point, the woman noticed her debit card was missing and told police Spranger pushed her down in a parking lot when confronted about the card.

Once police got involved, Spranger disappeared. Warren police said Spranger was arrested at a Tim Hortons restaurant on 12 Mile Road at Mound Road. When officers approached her, she denied any knowledge of the arrest warrant for her, police said.

The case has nothing to do with her tumultuous year as county clerk that consisted of lawsuits and bizarre behavior before she was removed by a judge for lying on an affidavit about where she lived.

Spranger was also accused of assaulting that 78-year-old woman when she confronted Spranger about the money. She was not charged with assault.

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, 2017: Macomb County clerk fined for ethics violation amid dispute with county board

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sept. 28, 2017: Judge 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, 2017: Spranger caught on video covering up court order

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dec. 15, 2017: Video shows feces, clutter in house Spranger listed as residence

Jan. 2, 2018: Spranger files lawsuit against Macomb County alleging conspiracy against her

Jan. 8, 2018: Spranger puts Macomb County hiring on hold

Jan. 23, 2018: Employee says Spranger pressured her to illegally alter record

Feb. 28, 2019: Spranger accused of attacking, stealing from 78-year-old woman

May 1, 2019: Spranger charged with larceny


About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.