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Howard County police search office of Columbia nonprofit

Howard County police detectives searched the office of the Columbia Housing Corporation on Wednesday in an investigation involving an employee, a lawyer representing the nonprofit agency said in a statement.

Thomas Meachum, of Columbia, said in an email that the agency "provided the information and documentation requested by the Police Department, and will continue to provide any other information the Department feels it needs to conduct its investigation of the employee. The employee in question has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation."

Meachum said he would decline further comment, as the case is under investigation.

Sherry Llewellyn, a spokeswoman for Howard County police, said detectives carried out a search warrant at the 9100 block of Rumsey Road in Columbia, but she declined to say what the detectives were looking for or the nature of the allegation that prompted police to seek a search warrant. She said no charges had been filed.

"We're at the stage of looking into an allegation that's been made," Llewellyn said. The search was made "to gather information, to determine if the allegation is valid," she said.

Columbia Housing, a nonprofit organization established 45 years ago to provide affordable rental housing, has its main office at 9150 Rumsey Road.

According to the agency's web site, the corporation was established in 1967 by a group of religious organizations including the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore, a Protestant association called the Combined Ministries and the Jewish Council of Howard County. In 1978, community representatives replaced the religious governing body.

arthur.hirsch@baltsun.com

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