WARREN (WWJ) – An attempted recall campaign against Warren Mayor Jim Fouts has hit a roadblock.

An official at Macomb County Elections Commission on Tuesday told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Ron Dewey they’ve turned down the petition language submitted by Warren resident Karen Spranger.

Spranger accuses Fouts of abusing the way the city conducts business, for costly lawsuits and passing law that only help the mayor’s “personal views.”

According to a report by the Oakland Press, a 120-word complaint filed April 1 against Fouts alleges the mayor threatened employees with violence. Among other allegations, Spranger also claims a mayoral appointee who “spied on Warren residents” is under investigation by the FBI; that Fouts offered no explanation for a recent water rate hike, only blaming Detroit; and that unspecified lawsuits have cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Roger Cardanone, Chief Election Clerk for Macomb County, said the elections commission makes the decision to either approve or turn down petition language based on its clarity and factuality.

Cardanone said the effort would be welcome to submit new petition wording in the future; and, in interviews earlier this month, Spranger said she’d be prepared to rewrite and resubmit her petition language if necessary.

If Spranger’s petition is eventually accepted, she would have to collect signatures from 9.603 Warren voters to force a recall election.

Mayor Fouts, who has famously refused to reveal his age, came under fire earlier this year when he was caught on camera holding hands with a female assistant whom recently received a $5,000 raise.

Fouts attributed the controversy to “dirty politics.”

The mayor, who is in his second four-year term, could run for a third and final term in 2015.


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