Chief deputy, CFO out at Wayne County Treasurer's Office

Christine MacDonald
The Detroit News

Two of Wayne County Treasurer Eric Sabree's top staffers were out of their jobs as of Monday. 

Chief Deputy Melanie Kersey, a former FBI agent, was "no longer an employee" with the office, according to an email Sabree sent to staffers Tuesday morning and obtained by The News. She didn't return calls for comment. 

A spokesman for Wayne County Treasurer Eric Sabree, shown here in 2017, confirmed the departures but wouldn't give any details.

Deputy Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer Desiree Kirkland told The News that she was fired Monday. She wouldn't comment further. 

Sabree appointed Kersey in 2016 and she made $157,850 a year, according to the county's April salary data. Kirkland, who started with the office as a community outreach coordinator, made $133,250 annually.

Sabree spokesman Bruce Babiarz confirmed the departures but wouldn't give any details. 

Melanie Kersey

The office released a statement Tuesday afternoon, saying Sabree accepted Kersey's resignation. 

"After a 25-year distinguished career as a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Ms Kersey left retirement to help reorganize the Treasurer’s Office with a focus on customer service training and team building. She also brought great integrity to the office. Ms Kersey plans to pursue doctoral studies and spend more time with her husband who recently retired."

The statement did not mention Kirkland. 

Prior to coming to Wayne County, Kirkland worked as chief deputy treasurer for Ingham County Treasurer Eric Schertzing, who was critical of the job she did. Kirkland defended her job performance at the time, according to the Lansing State Journal. 

The turnover is the latest challenge facing Sabree as his office heads into the controversial fall tax foreclosure auctions. Just under 4,000 properties are headed to the sale this September, a 5% drop from last year. They include about 570 owner-occupied homes, although the numbers could decline further with help from programs designed to keep people in their homes. 

Last month, an ethics violation complaint was dismissed 5-1 Wednesday against Sabree in an investigation of his family's tax foreclosure purchases.

And The Detroit News reported in March that the FBI is scrutinizing Sabree family property dealings.