Temporary Macomb Co. Clerk appointed

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News
The United States flag is reflected in the Macomb County seal on the Administration Building.

The chief judge of Macomb County circuit court Wednesday appointed a long-time county employee to replace ousted Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger.

Judge James Biernat said in a statement he has named Kathy Brower as temporary acting county clerk, effective immediately. Biernat said state law gives him authority to make the appointment.

“I am honored that I’ve been chosen to assist the County with this transition," Brower said in a statement. "I hope that my temporary appointment will bring some stability to the great staff working at the Clerk’s Office.”

His appointment comes about a day after a St. Clair County Court judge ordered the embattled Spranger removed from office because she did not meet the residency requirements to be the county’s clerk. She had been accused of falsifying her address. Jackie Ryan, Spranger's deputy clerk, said on Wednesday that Spranger would appeal.

Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel said Wednesday before Biernat announced Brower's appointment that he expected a decision quickly.

"I think he'll appoint someone who will be able to calm things down," he said. "I think it will be someone who will be able to restore some integrity and noted sense of pride in the office."

Brower has been a Macomb County employee since September of 1992. She began working as a temporary file room clerk for the Clerk’s Office, and was hired permanently by the Clerk’s Office in July of 1993, officials said.

She has also worked as a typist clerk for the county's Board of Commissioners, a supervisor of records for the Clerk’s Office; and data maintenance clerk, judicial aide,  and an assistant to the court administrator for the Circuit Court.

Most recently, Kathy was the circuit court’s caseload manager, overseeing case assignment, statistical reporting, attorney appointments, interpreter appointments, and monitoring compliance with the State Court Administrative Office’s time guidelines.

Biernat said even though he is authorized to make a temporary appointment, all of the judges in the circuit court must meet to make an appointment to fill out the remainder of the term until the next general election.

The judges are scheduled to meet  April 13, 2018. The meeting is open to the public.

Applications for Macomb County Clerk must be submitted to the county court's Administration by 4:30 a.m. April 6.