HP Chairwoman and Four Others to Face Charges

Looks like Patricia Dunn, Kevin Hunsaker, HP’s ousted chief ethics officer, and Ronald DeLia, a Boston-area private investigator, each face criminal charges, as well as two outside investigators, Joseph DePante of Melbourne, Fla. and Bryan Wagner of Littleton, Colo. They will face felony charges of, 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.

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.

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 leaker’s identity. She resigned from HP’s board last month amid the uproar over the spying campaign, which has also prompted the resignation of two other board members.

The FBI and a congressional panel are also looking into the HP pretexting scandal. Dunn testified last week before the panel, saying she didn’t know about any potentially illegal tactics used in the investigation and wasn’t responsible for the probe.

I’m sure will be hearing lots more about this in the future, lord knows we’ve heard enough lately.