EDGEWOOD, Md. (AP) — The Army says it has put a civilian researcher in Edgewood on paid administrative leave while it investigates a watchdog group’s assertion that he is a “white nationalist.”

The Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center said Friday that it put mechanical engineer John Stortstrom on leave May 28 due to an article published online by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

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Stortstrom didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment from The Associated Press.

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Stortstrom is vice president of the Joppa-based Route 40 Republican Club. Club President Fred Mullis says Stortstrom is not a white supremacist.

Mullis acknowledged that Stortstrom arranged in May for the founder of the White Student Union group at Towson University to speak to the club. Mullis says getting speakers is one of the vice president’s duties.

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