(Adds results of warrants for Google email records of Ford
engineer, court records showing items seized by FBI)
By Bernie Woodall
DETROIT, July 25 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 and the FBI are working together on a joint
investigation involving a former employee," Ford spokeswoman
Susan Krusel said. "As this is an ongoing investigation, we are
not able to provide additional details."
The Federal Bureau of Investigation served a search warrant
at Ford offices on July 11, the company cooperated, and agents
left with eight listening devices, an FBI spokesman said.
Documents filed with the U.S. District Court for Eastern
Michigan showing what was seized by the FBI at Ford and at the
engineer's residence show that eight Sansa recording devices
were taken from Ford offices.
Three weeks earlier, the FBI served a warrant on the
residence of the engineer, Sharon Leach, in Wyandotte in
suburban Detroit, court records show.
Seized from the residence, according to documents filed by
the FBI with the district court, were four laptop computers and
a desktop computer, along with three USB drives, financial
records, some documents from Leach's employer and one T-Mobile
A third warrant was served to Google Inc, asking
for records of Leach's email account including emails sent to
and from her account as well as drafts of emails and deleted
information associated with the email account but still
available to Google, according to court documents.
Google supplied several items, including a video disk marked
as a reply to the search warrant and a cover letter, according
to court documents. Google sent the items by overnight delivery
on Wednesday, court documents show.
However, the court documents did not show the contents of
the disk or other information supplied by Google.
"Ford initiated an investigation of a now former employee
and requested the assistance of the FBI," Ford spokeswoman
The Detroit News, which first reported the investigation
early Friday, said Leach worked for Ford for 17 years and was a
No charges have been filed against Leach, 43, the paper
Calls to Leach's attorney, Marshall Tauber, were not
returned on Friday.
Leach placed the devices under tables in meeting rooms to
enable her to transcribe what was said for her own use and did
not intend to share the recordings with anyone, 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, Dan
Grebler and James Dalgleish)