US Hewlett Packard - REPLAY California attorney gen charges HP insiders, detectives in spy probe
NAME: US HEWLETT PKD 20061005Ix
DATELINE: Various, 4 Oct 2006/ File
RESTRICTIONS: No Access NAmerica/Internet
4 October 2006
1. Various of court documents detailing arrest warrants and criminal charges
2. Wide of news conference
3. SOUNDBITE: (English) Bill Lockyer, California Attorney General:
"It was reported today (Wednesday) that Ms Dunn will soon begin chemotherapy to treat her ovarian cancer. I am someone who stood by my mom and sister as they battled cancer. I truly hope that Ms Dunn wins her fight against this disease. However, her illness has no impact on her culpability for crimes committed."
28 September 2006
4. Medium of Patricia Dunn, ousted Hewlett-Packard Company Chairwoman at Congressional committee
5. SOUNDBITE: (English) Patricia Dunn, ousted Hewlett-Packard Company Chairwoman:
"I was unaware that the fraudulent misrepresentation of identity was part of a standard arsenal of HP tactics."
4 October 2006
6. SOUNDBITE: (English) Dean Johnson, Legal Analyst:
"The big issue is that they never even asked the ethical question. Nobody bothered to ask, 'should we do this?'"
Palo Alto, California
7. Wide of Hewlett Packard entrance
8. Sign reading "Hewlett Packard"
9. Wide of office floor
10. Medium of workers at desk
California's attorney general filed criminal charges against former Hewlett-Packard Company Chairwoman Patricia Dunn and four others on Wednesday involved in the corporate spying scandal at the computer and printer company.
Bill Lockyer, the California Attorney General accused two ousted HP insiders, chairwoman Patricia Dunn and Kevin Hunsaker, the chief ethics officer and three outside investigators, Ronald DeLia, Matthew DePante and Bryan Wagner of violating state privacy laws in HP's crusade to root out the source of boardroom leaks.
But Dean Johnson, a legal analyst said the case may be a difficult one to prove and lawyers for Dunn and Hunsaker could show that they were simply relying on legal opinions assuring them HP's tactics were legal.
They each face four felony counts: use of false or fraudulent pretences to obtain confidential information from a public utility; unauthorised access to computer data; identity theft; and conspiracy to commit each of those crimes.
Each charge carries a fine of up to ten thousand US dollars and three years in prison.
At a news conference on Wednesday, Lockyer said his investigation of the Silicon Valley technology giant was not yet complete and hinted more charges could be ahead.
Lockyer asked the court to issue arrest warrants for those charged.
His office said it arranged for Dunn and Hunsaker to surrender and hoped the out-of-state defendants would voluntarily waive extradition to California.
The scandal erupted last month when HP disclosed that detectives it hired to root out a series of boardroom leaks secretly obtained detailed phone logs of directors, employees and journalists.
The detectives used a potentially criminal form of subterfuge known as pretexting to masquerade as their targets and trick telephone companies into turning over the records.
According to the criminal complaint, private investigators working for HP compromised the personal data of more than 24 people, including HP directors, employees and journalists.
By March, the detectives had compiled records of 1,750 phone calls made on 157 mobile phones and 413 landlines.
Pretexting will become a criminal offence in California when a new law signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger takes effect 1 January 2007.
Violators will be punished by 2,500 US dollars in fines and up to a year in jail, though the law will not retroactively apply to the HP investigation.
Dunn, who initiated the investigation, said she didn't know until after the fact that the detectives went to such extremes to unearth clues about the identity of the person leaking information.
She resigned from HP's board last month amid the uproar over the probe.
Dunn's lawyer said his client had fought for good corporate governance her entire career and would fight the charges "with everything she has."
Dunn, who has survived breast cancer and melanoma, will begin chemotherapy treatments for advanced ovarian cancer on Friday, according to a person close to Dunn who asked to remain anonymous because a formal announcement wasn't planned.
However Lockyer insisted that "her illness has no impact on her culpability for crimes committed."
HP said in a statement it is cooperating with Lockyer as well as federal authorities who are also exploring possible criminal charges.
HP chief executive Mark Hurd was not among those charged, nor was HP's former General Counsel Ann Baskins, who had some oversight of the company's investigation of media leaks.