September 15, 2006 6:19 PM PDT

Spokesman among targets in HP leak probe

Hewlett-Packard spokesman Michael Moeller was one of two employees whose phone records were improperly accessed as part of an investigation into unauthorized leaks to the press, CNET News.com has learned.

Moeller, a former reporter, was among those whom the computer maker had targeted in its probe, which is now the subject of a congressional inquiry as well as criminal investigations by state and federal authorities.

"The investigators' suspicions were misplaced and baseless," Hewlett-Packard's Vice President of External Communications Robert Sherbin told CNET News.com late Friday.

For his part, Moeller said "(CEO) Mark Hurd and (Chairman) Pattie Dunn both personally apologized to me," Moeller said. "I think it should speak volumes that I am still doing my job."

On Tuesday, Dunn apologized to HP employees for the tactics used in the probe, at the same time disclosing that two HP employees had been targeted, though the company did not name them.

HP has said that nine journalists were also targeted as part of the probe, including three reporters at CNET News.com, three reporters at BusinessWeek, two reporters at the Wall Street Journal and one reporter at the New York Times. Moeller was a journalist at BusinessWeek and PC Week before entering public relations.

Earlier on Friday, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce asked four people, including Dunn, HP General Counsel Ann Baskins and outside lawyer Larry Sonsini to testify in a Sept. 28 hearing. The committee has given HP until Monday to turn over a number of records related to its probe.

California's Attorney General has also said that he believes he has enough information to bring criminal charges against people both inside and outside the company.

Dunn said Tuesday that she would step down as Chairman in January, though she said she will remain on the board. Following Dunn's announcement, Director George Keyworth said he would resign, acknowledging in a press release that he was a source for a CNET News.com story in January, but also lashing out at the leak probe.

See more CNET content tagged:
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2 comments

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We Own You 100%. Now Shut Up And Get Back To Work
I don't know what all the fuss is about. Surely HP employees must have read the fine print in their employment contract which authorizes HP to steal phone record, follow them around, and take clandestine photos. Oh yes, photos taken on private property by PI's hiding in the bushes. Go watch David Kaplan of Newsweek on Charlie Rose's 9/14 TV show. So shut up, get back to work, and leave your door unlocked so we don't have to pick it.
Posted by CancerMan2 (74 comments )
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he was a journalist ... so what?
why is it relevant to this story to mention (more than once) that the HP PR guy was a journalist once?
Posted by datawhguy (4 comments )
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