Lt. Col. Emerson C. Davis, the county's deputy police chief, who testified before the County Council this month, said he had seen Police Chief Col. James E. Teare Sr. destroy a file on a state employee who had alleged that Leopold sexually harassed her. Davis told the council that he saw no legitimate reason for police to have the file.

Beginning next week, Snowden plans to take a leave from his job in the attorney general's office so he can "pursue these claims freely without the appearance of conflict," according to an earlier statementfrom Hansel.

Snowden plans to spend time with his family and travel "with an eye toward furthering his civil rights agenda," Hansel said.

The notification letter was also sent to the state treasurer, said Hansel, who does not expect the suit will be filed against the state.

An Anne Arundel County police spokesman declined to comment.

Leopold's spokesman directed inquiries to Hodgson, who said it was premature to discuss the case.

"If and when he files a lawsuit, then we'll evaluate it at that time," Hodgson said.

tricia.bishop@baltsun.com

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