Feeds

Charges dropped against former HP chairman

Charges to be dropped against three others

Boost IT visibility and business value

A California state judge has dropped all criminal charges against former Hewlett-Packard Chairman Patricia Dunn and paved the way to clearing three others caught up in the spying scandal, which was initiated to discover the source of leaks to the media.

In October, the four were charged with four felony counts each for participating in scheme to impersonate reporters and board members to obtain their phone records. Each count carried a maximum $1,000 fine and three years in prison. Prosecutors in January agreed to reduce charges to misdemeanors if the defendants agreed to plead guilty.

"This is a vindication of Patty Dunn in every sense of the word," said her lawyer, James Brosnahan, according to the Associated Press. "It shows what she's maintained throughout: that she's innocent of these charges." Federal prosecutors continue to probe HP's controversial investigation.

Three other defendants - former HP ethics chief Kevin Hunsaker, and private investigators Ronald DeLia and Matthew DePant - pleaded no contest, but the judge didn't immediately accept the pleas. He said the charges would be dropped later this year if the men completed 96 hours of community service and paid restitution.

State charges against fifth defendant, private investigator Bryan Wagner, were also dropped after he agreed to plead guilty to federal charges and testify for prosecutors.

Following board leaks to the Wall Street Journal, News.com and others, Dunn initiated an investigation to discover the publications' sources. Among the tactics was the hiring of private detectives who obtained journalists' phone recorders by falsely claiming to be the reporters. Investigators also trailed some reporters, including during a family trip to Disney Land.

From the outset, Dunn said she was innocent of the fraud charges and had remained unaware of the methods used in outing the leaker. Shortly after the scandal broke, Dunn disclosed she was being treated for ovarian cancer.

The scandal proved too tarnishing to HP once squeaky-clean image, leading to the resignation of Dunn and several other high-ranking officials. ®

Statement by Patricia Dunn's lawyers

James Brosnahan of Morrison & Foerster, lead counsel for former Hewlett-Packard Chairman Patricia Dunn, today announced that all charges against Ms. Dunn have been dismissed by the judge.

"We have maintained from the beginning that Pattie Dunn was innocent and thus vigorously fought the charges against her. Today, the judge dismissed the case. Ms. Dunn did not plead to anything. This is the right result," stated Mr. Brosnahan.

"We had numerous discussions with the California Attorney General's office and appreciate very much that the administration of the new Attorney General decided to allow the judge to dismiss the case against Pattie Dunn," he added.

Ms. Dunn stated, "I am pleased that this matter has been resolved fairly, and want to express my deep gratitude to my husband and family, who never lost faith in me throughout this ordeal. I have been strengthened by wonderful support during this difficult time -- both from my dear friends and from people I have never met. I have always had faith that the truth would win out and justice would be served -- and it has been."

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
Yes, Australia's government SHOULD store comms metadata
Not because it's a good idea but because it already operates the infrastructure and processes to do it well
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.