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FBI Investigating Ford Engineer After Listening Devices Found

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FORD HEADQUARTERS
The Ford world headquarters is seen in Dearborn, Mich., Monday, July 26, 2010. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) | ASSOCIATED PRESS


(Recasts with attribution to Ford, adds spokeswoman comment)

DETROIT, July 25 (Reuters) - A former Ford Motor Co engineer is being investigated by the FBI after listening devices were found in meeting rooms at company offices, the automaker said on Friday.

"Ford initiated an investigation of a now former employee and requested the assistance of the FBI," said Susan Krusel, a Ford spokeswoman.

The Detroit News reported that the FBI seized listening devices, computers and financial records in a July 11 search of company offices. Krusel said Ford voluntarily handed over items and information to the FBI.

The FBI raided the suburban Detroit home of Sharon Leach, a Ford mechanical engineer who was fired after company security found listening devices planted in meeting rooms, the newspaper said. Leach had worked at Ford for 17 years.

No charges have been filed against Leach, 43, the paper said.

Calls to Leach's attorney, Marshall Tauber, and to the FBI in Detroit were not immediately returned.

"Ford and the FBI are working together on a joint investigation involving a former employee," Ford spokeswoman Krusel said. "As this is an ongoing investigation, we are not able to provide additional details."

Leach placed the devices under tables in meeting rooms to enable her to transcribe what was said, the newspaper cited Tauber as saying.

The devices were not installed in rooms where the company's board of directors would meet, the report said. (Reporting by Bernie Woodall; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Dan Grebler)

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