By John Balch
Off-duty Howard County deputies are now providing security at the CertainTeed gypsum mining facility as an apparent investigation continues that involved termination of some the facility’s key personnel, according to Sheriff Bryan McJunkins.
McJunkins said he was contacted by CertainTeed’s parent company, Saint-Gobain, the week of Aug. 6 and was informed there would be some terminations at the Nashville plant. McJunkins met with a company representative Friday, Aug. 10 and then accompanied several company officials to the Nashville facility on Monday, Aug. 13.
The deputies are being paid by CertainTeed for their services but are being allowed to wear their county uniforms and drive county patrol units. McJunkins initially said the security would be needed at the plant “short term” but later said it could be a few weeks.
The sheriff said there were several terminations of upper management at the local plant that Monday. “The FBI may be involved,” McJunkins added.
When asked if the investigation involved money laundering, McJunkins said people often confuse money laundering with embezzlement.
No official information has been released by CertainTeed about the investigation.
“The company declines to make public comment on personnel action,” stated Lisa M. Miree-Luke, who handles communications out of the CertainTeed Saint-Gobain location in Malvern, Pa., when contacted by email.
Prosecutor Bran Chesshir said last week his office has not been contacted concerning the investigation.
According to the company’s website, CertainTeed was founded in 1904 and is a subsidiary of Saint-Gobain, “one of the world’s largest and oldest building products company,” CertainTeed and its affiliates have more than 5,700 employees and more than 60 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Canada.”
The facility is located six miles north of Nashville off Highway 369.