From the Detroit Free Press

A second ethics complaint was dismissed against embattled Clerk/Register of Deeds Karen Spranger, whose new top aide told the Macomb County Ethics Board today that Spranger “is like the mother of Macomb County.”

The ethics board dismissed a complaint by former deputy register of deeds Erin Stahl after it determined the complaint was similar to one it heard last month.

In that instance, the ethics board found Spranger in violation of two sections of the county’s ethics ordinance for allowing two non-county employees to have access to her county computer. That complaint was filed by former deputy clerk Paul Kardasz. Spranger was fined $100 by the ethics board in his complaint, a fine she has until May 31 to pay.

Jennifer Lord, who represents the two fired aides, said the county was served with the federal lawsuit weeks ago but it has taken longer to serve Spranger, who Lord said has been “dodging service.” Lord said Spranger’s attorney in the lawsuit, who was hired by the county to represent her, was served via e-mail earlier this week.

After today’s meeting, Spranger said the charter speaks for itself; and she thinks that the ethics board has to review the process and take it seriously and that legal proceedings “should be followed to the law.”

“It is my belief as the person responsible for some of these issues that need to be cleared up, I just feel that everybody has an opinion, everybody judges people,” Spranger said. “But the point is, a good leader has to do what they do when deputies do not follow the clerk’s responsibilities seriously and do what is supposed to be done according to my responsibilities as the clerk.”

Lord said the board’s decision today “is a reaffirmation of the prior violation.” Stahl said she was disappointed the board didn’t separate the two complaints, but she understood its decision.

Read the entire Detroit Free Press story here.