Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger spent hours Thursday trying to answer questions about the costly and potentially dangerous backlog in her office.
County commissioners grilled Spranger, and they didn’t pull their punches.
Put on the spot, Spranger admitted that she has failed to do her job in office. County commissioners said she’s putting lives on the street in danger.
“Your incompetence in ruining that department and letting these backlogs continue and build is dangerous to the whole county,” Macomb County Commissioner Don Brown said. “Do you realize that?”
“Yes,” Spranger said.
In the vital Law Enforcement Information Network, there are 4,400 important records collecting dust. As a result, police officers on the street aren’t being told who is wanted or who has a suspended license. Spranger admitted it has left officers in the dark and potentially put lives in jeopardy.
“The public now is at (risk),” Macomb County Commissioner Kathy Tocco said. “It’s not just your shenanigans that go on in here. Now you’ve put the public at risk.”
“I understand your point of view,” Spranger responded.
She told the Board of Commissioners that the LEIN officer in charge retired. She’s run off other employees and admits she hasn’t rehired or trained anyone to get the LEIN system up-to-date.
“Why don’t you know where your staff is?” Tocco said.
“To the day, she walked off her work for three days without notifying me,” Spranger said.
“She was elected by the people to keep the train moving, and all we have are games and jockeying, and it’s affecting everyday people,” Macomb County Commissioner Rob Leonetti said.
Macomb County has taken her to court over the residency law they believe she violated in an effort to remove her.
Spranger was told by the Board of Commissioners that she needs to get to work. She was offered the help she needs to catch up. They said she has rejected any help in the past.
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