Macomb County clerk’s lawsuit against Google gets dismissed

By: Joshua Gordon | C&G Newspapers | Published February 12, 2018

 Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger's lawsuit against Google was dismissed in the Macomb County Circuit Court.

Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger's lawsuit against Google was dismissed in the Macomb County Circuit Court.

File photo by Deb Jacques

MOUNT CLEMENS — Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger’s lawsuit against Google, Inc., has been dismissed by Macomb County Circuit Court Judge Richard Caretti.

In October, Spranger filed the lawsuit in an attempt to squash a subpoena filed by the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office to get her Google account information. Google filed a motion for summary disposition on Nov. 30 for the case to be dismissed and Caretti submitted his order on Jan. 29.

The Sheriff’s Office filed the subpoena Sept. 19 in the 41-B District Court in Clinton Township, asking for all the information associated with Spranger’s Google email address, including subscriber information and IP addresses from where the email account was accessed.

The subpoena was in response to a Warren resident alleging in 2016 the possible perjury by Spranger tied to her election affidavit not having her actual address on it. The Sheriff’s Office began a criminal probe shortly after.

After the subpoena was filed, Google emailed Spranger to inform her she had seven days to file an objection. Spranger asked for a copy of the filings and received the subpoena with several pieces of information redacted, including the court official who signed it.

In her initial complaint, Spranger alleged there was no pending case against her at the district court, therefore the subpoena was invalid. Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said at the time there was an active case number in his office.

The motion hearing in front of Caretti was rescheduled a few times before the Jan. 29 hearing. He originally took the motion under advisement before giving his order later the same day.

Spranger represented herself in that case and did not return a request for comment.

The investigation by the Sheriff’s Office is seperate from court proceedings taking place in the St. Clair County Circuit Court between Spranger and Macomb County.

Macomb County filed a countersuit to Spranger’s lawsuit against them in September that calls into question Spranger’s residency in Warren that she listed on her 2016 election affidavit. St. Clair County Judge Daniel Kelly granted the motion for the countersuit to be filed.

The county alleges that Spranger lied on her affidavit about living on Hudson Avenue in Warren, therefore she was illegitimately elected and should be removed from office. The county cites Warren city water records and Spranger’s use of her Michigan Bridge Card outside of Macomb County.

Spranger’s lawyer in those cases, Frank Cusumano Jr., filed a motion to have himself removed as her counsel in January, claiming financial strain on his business, but Kelly denied the motion on Jan. 29.

Cusumano said at the time that Kelly appeared concerned about Spranger’s case going forward if Cusumano were to withdraw. Cusumano said he will be filing a motion for reconsideration.

Spranger filed a federal lawsuit against Macomb County in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit, alleging a conspiracy between county officials, a union representative and two local journalists to stop her from doing her job.

Macomb County has filed a motion to dismiss the case that will be heard at the end of February.