From the Detroit Free Press
Two fired deputies of Macomb County Clerk/Register of Deeds Karen Spranger say they witnessed a pattern of incompetent, unethical and unlawful behavior that left the clerk’s office “on the brink of collapse,” according to a whistle-blower lawsuit they filed.
The former chief deputies, Paul Kardasz and Erin Stahl, allege they were fired in retaliation for ethics complaints they filed against Spranger for her hostile treatment of employees and other violations of county laws and policies.
“It’s against the law to fire someone reporting matters of public concern,” Jennifer Lord, a lawyer (from Pitt McGehee Palmer & Rivers), who is representing Kardasz and Stahl, said Sunday. “You can’t fire someone because they’re blowing the whistle on unlawful activity.”
The former deputies’ First Amendment rights also were violated, according to the lawsuit, which seeks reinstatement to county jobs, compensatory and punitive damages and money for legal fees. The lawsuit, which also names Macomb County as a defendant, was filed Friday in U.S. District Court, Lord said.