Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger sues Google amid residency battle

Macomb County officials challenge Spranger's residency

By Jason Colthorp - Anchor/Reporter, Derick Hutchinson

MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. - Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger is suing Google for its involvement in her battle with county officials over the address listed on her application to run for office.

Macomb County filed a countersuit against Spranger, challenging her residency after the Warren home she listed on the application was found to be "uninhabitable."

READUnion files restraining order against Spranger over 'hostile workplace'

Spranger is accused of perjury and could be removed from office and face a year in jail if it is determined she lied on a notarized affidavit.

The complaint said the home in Warren is not Spranger's primary residents. She told Local 4 on two occasions that it is.

Spranger sues Google

In Spranger's lawsuit against Google, she said when she started a Gmail account, she might have listed a different address as the one listed on her application to run for Macomb County clerk.

Investigators subpoenaed Google for the information, and Spranger is suing to quash that subpoena.

You can view the court documents below:

Home deemed 'vacant and uninhabitable'

A notice posted on the door of the house, which neighbors said is overrun with raccoons, labeled it as vacant and uninhabitable.

"I was in the backyard and noticed raccoons coming out of the house, and I called the city," neighbor Dayton Hood said.

The complaint filed with the Macomb County Sheriff's Office alleges Spranger lied about the home on Hudson Avenue being her primary residence on a document she filed to run for the clerk position.

Two appeals courts already came to that conclusion in 2012 and 2015, when Spranger applied for special tax exemptions. That was based on the very small water usage at the home, which neighbors said hasn't been lived in for more than a year.

Spranger said she lives at the home, but isn't always there because she's often on the go.

The notices, dated two days ago, state not only is the home vacant, but nobody is allowed to live in it until it's inspected by the city of Warren.

"I do believe it's gibberish," said Bob Smith, the chairman of the Macomb County Board of Commissioners.

Smith thinks Spranger's lawsuit against the county is nonsense, and the board is appointing outside counsel at the expense of taxpayers. He's also not a fan of her apparent reluctance to use technology.

"She is basically systematically taking away any advancements that the clerk and the staff have made over the last 10 years," Smith said. "She's slowly reverting us back to the 19th century, it feels like."

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