Ousted HP Chairwoman To Surrender

Hewlett Packard Patricia Dunn scales justice verdict court CBS/AP

Hewlett-Packard Co.'s ousted chairwoman agreed to surrender to authorities Thursday and was ordered to appear in court on felony charges tied to the company's ill-fated attempt to uncover the source of boardroom leaks to the media.

Patricia Dunn was scheduled to appear at 5 p.m. EDT in Santa Clara County Superior Court to set an arraignment date. She was charged Wednesday along with former HP chief ethics officer Kevin Hunsaker and three investigators — Ronald DeLia, Matthew DePante and Bryan Wagner.

Hunsaker was booked and released Thursday morning, and his arraignment was scheduled for Dec. 6, his legal team said.

The five each face four felony counts: use of false or fraudulent pretenses to obtain confidential information from a public utility; unauthorized access to computer data; identity theft; and conspiracy to commit each of those crimes. Each charge carries a fine of up to $10,000 and three years in prison.

interview with former Hewlett-Packard chairwoman Patricia Dunn
HP CEO Mark Hurd is not among those named in the complaint filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court — nor was HP's former General Counsel Ann Baskins, who had some oversight of the company's investigation of media leaks.

HP's investigation, which took place earlier this year and in 2005, erupted into a national scandal last month after HP disclosed that detectives it hired had obtained the private phone records of directors, employees and journalists in HP's effort to ferret out the source of media leaks.

Using a shady tactic known as "pretexting," the detectives obtained the Social Security Numbers of their targets and fooled telephone companies into divulging their detailed call logs.

Dunn wasn't the only Hewlett-Packard executive to authorize internal investigations. In a new book, ousted former CEO Carly Fiorina said she also went after people who leaked, but she says she never went as far as Dunn, reports CBS News correspondent Anthony Mason.

"I was shocked to hear about the depth and range of some of those tactics. And shocked to hear that I might have been the subject of some of them," Fiorina tells CBS News. Fiorina's own phone records reportedly were targeted by the company's investigators before she was fired last year.

At a news conference Wednesday , California Attorney General Bill Lockyer said his investigation of the company, long revered for its ethics and professionalism, was not yet complete and hinted more charges could be ahead.

"One of our state's most venerable institutions lost its way as its board sought to find out who leaked confidential company information to the press," Lockyer said.

Arrest warrants were issued and a prosecution spokesman said Thursday that attorneys for all the defendants except DePante had been contacted and their clients agreed to voluntarily surrender.

Dunn's lawyer, James Brosnahan, said his client has fought for good corporate governance her entire career and will fight the charges "with everything she has."

"These charges are being brought against the wrong person at the wrong time and for the wrong reasons," he said in a statement.

Hunsaker's lead lawyer, Michael Pancer, reiterated that his client had been assured of the legality of the tactics and was fired from HP when he refused to resign.

"At no time did he — or would he — ever authorize or engage in any activity that he thought was illegal," Pancer said in a statement.

The telephone rang unanswered Thursday morning at Matthew DePante's office in Melbourne, Fla. No listed home number for him could be located. Wagner did not immediately return a call.

DeLia asserted his innocence in a statement he read to The Associated Press on Wednesday.

"I am innocent of these charges," DeLia said. "I've been a professional private investigator for more than 30 years. I respect the law and I did not break the law in the HP investigation."

He refused to elaborate on his statement or take questions.

Lawyers for the others charged did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

HP said in a statement it is cooperating with Lockyer as well as federal authorities who are also exploring possible criminal charges. The Palo Alto-based company declined further comment.

In all, the personal data of more than 24 people were compromised, including one instance in January when an investigator changed the password for a reporter's cell phone and viewed her call log for nine minutes, according to the criminal complaint.

Dunn, who was infuriated by a leak about a private board retreat, ordered the investigation but said she didn't know the detectives used such extreme measures. She resigned from the board last month.

Hunsaker oversaw the probe, and left the company on Sept. 26.

DeLia runs a Boston-area detective firm called Security Outsourcing Solutions, a longtime HP contractor commissioned to conduct the leak probe.

DeLia in turn hired DePante's company to gather information, and Wagner was hired to obtain the private phone records. According to the complaint, Wagner acknowledged destroying the computer linking him to the HP probe "because it had incriminating evidence on it and he would not assist in locating it."

Pretexting will become a criminal offense in California when a new law signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger takes effect Jan. 1. Violators will be punished by $2,500 in fines and up to a year in jail, though the law will not retroactively apply to the HP investigation.
  • Joel Roberts

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