Genesee County 911 director resigns after family dispute leads to misdemeanor
GENESEE COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) - The top official has resigned from the Genesee County 911 Communications Center two weeks after a family dispute ended with a misdemeanor charge against her.
Spring Tremaine submitted a letter of resignation to the Genesee County 911 Consortium Board. At a special meeting Monday, 10 of 13 the Executive Board members in attendance, voted unanimously to approve it. Her last day in the office was on Monday.
The board voted to place Tremaine on paid administrative leave effective immediately until Sept. 30, which will be her last day as director. That’s also when her contract is up. An internal investigation is now underway at the Center.
Tremaine was charged with a misdemeanor of disorderly conduct after an Aug. 7 incident resulting from a dispute with her ex-sister-in-law in Fenton Township. A video shared to ABC12 shows Tremaine dumping yard waste and a trash can on her ex-sister-in-law’s driveway.
Tremaine claims her ex-sister-in-law, who lives across the street, had dumped the yard waste and trash illegally on property that Tremaine controls. However, she was unaware that a divorce court decision two days earlier allowed her ex-sister-in-law access to the property.
The Tremaines called the Genesee County 911 Center twice on Aug. 7 to request a police response to deal with the dispute. Genesee County sheriff deputies took a report the first time and issued a disorderly conduct ticket the second time.
The 911 Consortium’s Chairperson refused an interview Monday. So, ABC12 spoke with the Sheriff who called for Monday’s special meeting to discuss Spring Tremaine’s future with the agency.
“I personally wasn’t expecting that the Director would not renew her contract on the 30th but I’m happy,” Sheriff Chris Swanson said. “Because, I think when you listen to some of the people that that work under the conditions of answering 911 calls -- very emotional 911 calls -- when they’re dispatching police, fire, EMS and they’re calling in assets and resources, they have to focus on their job. And I think that there was perhaps an environment, that, that their focus was not as much as they could have been.”
To get to the bottom of that concern, the Executive Board approved an internal investigation will also take place. An outside law firm will speak with each 911 employee, allowing them the opportunity to voice their opinions and share any concerns.
Much of Monday’s meeting was discussing how they will be protected when speaking up.
Then, the Board voted Deputy Director Jones into the Interim Director role. The problem with that selection is Jones also submitted his resignation, expected to be effective September 30.
“However I’ve talked with him and he has indicated a willingness to pull that back,” Chairman Mark Emmendorfer announced to the Executive Board.
ABC12 reached out to Jones. He did not have a comment.
The Board’s vote has Jones serving as Interim Director until the next general board meeting on September 14. At that meeting, the Consortium’s Personnel Committee will make a suggestion on a permanent replacement.
“We need to find another candidate out there that is going to be worthy of 911, and would be a good fit. We need a good fit with the employees,” Swanson said.
Calls to Spring Tremaine’s sister, her appointed spokesperson, went unanswered Monday afternoon. Jennifer Tremaine did attend Monday’s special meeting, though.
Cathy Tremaine, the ex-sister-in-law, claims she and Spring Tremaine had been at odds for 17 months. She recorded the confrontation on Aug. 7 to help bring resolution to the long simmering conflict.
Swanson has said the public holds officials to a higher standard of conduct, even during their personal time.
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