Fired court clerk returns to job

By DANIEL HERATY
Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN – Six years after being removed from her position as court administrator, Sharon Langen returned to her former post.

Nineteenth District Court Judge Richard Wygonik announced Jan. 20 that Langen would return as deputy court administrator Feb. 1, a position she held from 1996 until 2006, when she was removed by 19th District Court Judge Mark Somers and replaced with former administrator Gary Dodge. Dodge’s last day was Jan. 31

According to published reports, Dodge was removed by Wygonik after Wygonik was named the court’s chief judge in November. Wygonik was not available for comment.

Langen said court employees are wishing her well.

“I’ve had a lot of reaction from quite a few (court) employees,” she said. “Everyone’s been giving me their support.”

Langen, who is involved in a lawsuit against Somers, said she looks forward to working with all three 19th District Court Judges: Somers, Wygonik and William Hultgren.

Calling the duties between clerk and court administrator interchangeable, Langen said she hasn’t noticed a difference in the jobs and described a typical day as dealing with personnel and budget issues, in addition to dealing with unhappy people.

“I’m not experiencing anything I haven’t experienced before,” she said.

In an email, former court administrator Julie Pucci — who is suing Somers alleging wrongful termination after Somers fired her, Langen and former probation officer Simone Calvas in 2006 — said Langen has the support of Wygonik and former 20th District Court Judge Leo Foran, who, as chief judge, promoted Langen in 2005.

Pucci added she expects a change in atmosphere with Langen’s appointment.

“The shortcomings of the former administration at the 19th District Court over the last five years are well-documented and have negatively affected morale,” she said.

(Daniel Heraty can be reached at dheraty@bewickpublications.com)

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