Former Macomb County clerk wanted on bench warrant

By: Brian Louwers | C&G Newspapers | Published September 25, 2020



File photo


MOUNT CLEMENS — Former Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger once again has a warrant out for her arrest.

Spranger, 68, of Warren, pleaded no contest to a charge of disturbing the peace in August and had agreed to pay fines, costs and restitution in a matter before Macomb County Circuit Court Judge Diane Druzinski. The agreement was set to conclude a criminal case against Spranger that began in May 2019 when she was charged with felony larceny following a criminal investigation by the Warren Police Department into the alleged theft from a senior citizen.

According to court records, Druzinski issued a bench warrant for Spranger’s arrest on Sept. 10, after she failed to appear. Fines, costs and restitution were cited as unpaid.

Macomb prosecutors declined to comment on Sept. 24. Spranger’s defense attorney, Joseph Arnone, could not be reached.

The Warren police investigation concluded that Spranger used the credit card of a senior citizen acquaintance without her consent to withdraw cash in the amount of $1,660 between Jan. 1 and Jan. 8, 2019. As part of her plea agreement, Spranger was ordered to pay restitution in that amount. No jail time was ordered when the deal was entered into the record in August, and the court did not intend to place her on probation.

The latest development continues a years-long odyssey involving Spranger, the courts and Macomb County government.

She ran for mayor in Warren against Mayor Jim Fouts in 2015 and lost. She then sought election to the office of Macomb County Clerk/Register of Deeds and won in November 2016.

On March 28, 2018, Spranger was removed from office by a judge who ruled in favor of county officials in a legal dispute over her residency in Warren, which they claimed she had falsified on her candidate affidavit. Her ouster came amid a flurry of controversies and lawsuits with the county that played out over a tumultuous 16 months in office and carried over into federal court.

Spranger was named in an arrest warrant after Macomb prosecutors authorized the original larceny charge against her on May 1, 2018. She was arrested by Warren police the next day at a Tim Hortons coffee shop on Mound Road.