LAPEER – Stephanie King was appointed as the new Lapeer County Animal Control Department Head replacing Rachel Horton, who resigned after she posted County Commissioners’ private text messages to her Facebook page. It was reported that Horton received the screenshot of text messages from her father and current County Commissioner, Bryan Zender who received the screenshot of messages from County Commissioner Brad Haggadone.
Horton, in her Facebook post, accused the County Commissioners of violating the Open Meetings Act. There was a discussion in the text messages regarding the animal control ordinance she was working on.
Prosecutor John Miller’s investigation into Horton’s accusations of the violation of the Open Meetings Act found the commissioners were well within their procedural right in their comments and were not in violation of the Open Meetings Act.
Lapeer County Commissioners hold the ability to approve of and terminate the Lapeer County Animal Control Department Head. It is unclear whether Horton was forced into resignation.
Shortly after her departure, Moses Sanzo, Lapeer County Administrator, got to work looking for a replacement. He didn’t have to look far as Stephanie King has worked for the Animal Control as an officer since 2020.
King, an Elba Twp resident, began working for Arborview Veterinary Clinic after graduating in 2008 from Lapeer West High School. She started as a kennel assistant and eventually moved up to head veterinary technician at the clinic.
After being approached with the opportunity to become the new director of the Lapeer County Animal Control, she accepted the offer. Having a former animal control officer move into this position will prove beneficial to the department as there won’t be much downtime in training. She already knows the department and its needs to move forward in being a valuable part of Lapeer County.
King has worked alongside all other staff members and holds vision for the department in the future. King seems very optimistic in her new position as the Chief of the Lapeer County Animal Control.