Patricia Dunn, former Hewlett-Packard chairman
Patricia Dunn, the former Hewlett-Packard chairman at the center of a boardroom-leak scandal, was charged with four felonies this week. Were it not for an e-mail trail, though, she may never have had to experience that heavily photographed perp walk to a courthouse in San Jose, Calif.
A House subcommittee recently released more than 700 pages of documents. They include e-mail messages, memos and bills that showed how far HP was willing to go to trace leaks to news organizations including CNET News.com.
In an e-mail from Dunn to a private investigator dated May 16, 2005, she wrote, "Here are their numbers." Following that were the phone numbers of two BusinessWeek reporters. An internal report subsequently supplied to Dunn offered a rundown of reporters' phone calls.
For her part, Dunn claims that she believed it was possible to obtain confidential phone records without violating laws. "My understanding was these records were publicly available...I understood that you could call up and get phone records," Dunn told a congressional subcommittee last month.
The California attorney general charged Dunn with four state felonies: fraudulent wire communications, wrongful use of computer data, identity theft, and conspiracy to commit those three crimes. She will have the opportunity to plead guilty or not guilty at an arraignment set for Nov. 17.
December 8, 2006 5:30 PM PST
Photo by: Chuck Kennedy/MCT
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