Attorney general charges five in HP case
Former Hewlett Packard Co. board chair Patricia Dunn was arraigned in Santa Clara County Superior Court in San Jose yesterday after being charged with four felonies Wednesday by California Attorney General Bill Lockyer.
HP obtained the private telephone numbers of board members and at least nine news reporters in an attempt to determine who was leaking boardroom information to the media.
The conspiracy charge carries a sentence of up to one year in prison and a maximum of $25,000 in fines. Convictions on each of the other three charges could result in up to three years in prison, plus fines of up to $10,000 each.
Dunn, who is also being treated for advanced ovarian cancer, is surrendering voluntarily, as will Hunsaker, who is being represented by Palo Alto criminal lawyer Tom Nolan.
Two of the investigators, Ron DeLia of Boston and Bryan Wagner of Littleton, Colo., have agreed to voluntarily surrender and will travel to California to do so, probably within the next week, according to the attorney genera Toms Shoes l’s office. They will likely face bail of $50,000 each. There is no word on whether bail will be sought for Dunn or Hunsaker.
The fifth person charged, Matthew Depante of Melbourne, Fla., has not yet been contacted by the attorney general’s office.
In his press conference Wednesday in Sacramento, Lockyer said the investigation “remains active and is still incomplete,” indicating that other people could be charged. But that probably won’t include Toms Shoes HP CEO and board chairman Mark Hurd, as Lockyer said t Toms Shoes here is currently no evidence that Hurd broke any laws.
The criminal complaint filed Wednesday in Santa Clara Superior Court alleged that Dunn gave DeLia the home, cellular and office phone numbers of HP board members. It alleged that Hunsaker knew that investigators “obtained phone records by ruse” and that he gave outside investigators the home, cellular and office phone numbers of HP officials.
The complaint alleges that Dunn and Hunsaker hired DeLia to find the source of boardroom leaks to the media; DeLia hired ARG; and Wagner, employed by ARG, “performed the actual work of unlawfully obtaining phone records through false pretenses.”
“One of our state’s most venerable corporate institutions lost its way as its board sought to find out who leaked confid Toms Shoes ential company information to the press,” Lockyer said. “In this misguided effort, people inside and outside HP violated privacy rights and broke state law. On behalf of Californians, who cherish privacy so much they enshrined the right in our state constitution, those who crossed the legal line must be held accountable.”