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Patricia Dunn and three others involved with the HP pretexting scandal will avoid jail time

The California Attorney General's office today announced that Patricia Dunn, a leading figure in the Hewlett-Packard pretexting scandal that rocked the company late last year, will not face felony charges, which will ultimately allow her to avoid jail time. 

The California judge dismissed all charges due to a settlement that was reached between the attorney general's office and Dunn.  The former HP board chairwoman was accused of fraud in a pretexting spying scandal dating back two years.

Dunn vehemently denied that she was aware of the tactics used by investigators who were looking into media leaks from HP.  "This is a vindication of Patty Dunn in every sense of the word," said Dunn's lawyer, James Brosnahan.

Former HP ethics chief Kevin Hunsaker, private investigators Ronald DeLia and Matthew Depante, previously charged along with Dunn, will also avoid jail time after pleading no contest to misdemeanor charges of fraud.  The three will officially be cleared in September after they successfully pay restitution and complete almost 100 hours of community service.

The state of California is still able to file charges in the ongoing case if new evidence is gathered. 

Even though Dunn may be in the clear, the case has had far reaching effects.  Late last year, California attempted to pass a bill to ban pretexting.  The bill did not pass, though a U.S. Congress act two months later made pretexting a federal offense.

HP hopes to forget the incident by settling a spying lawsuit and paying $14.5M to the state of California.

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RE: Dunn was just a scapegoat
By Spartan Niner on 3/14/2007 6:17:11 PM , Rating: 2
Do you really believe that people that high up the chain of command don't know anything about unethical or potentially illegal actions going on? Please.

Generally you don't reach settlements unless you have a high likelihood of actually being found guilty

RE: Dunn was just a scapegoat
By Samus on 3/15/2007 1:33:15 AM , Rating: 2
That's like saying George W. knows everything thats going on.

Some people (dunn, bush) are just too damn stupid to know whats going on around them.

RE: Dunn was just a scapegoat
By clockhar on 3/15/2007 5:09:05 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe. But if you know a CEO (or are close to one), you'll quickly notice that all CEOs (and most high-end executives) are control frieks. Often times it's difficult for them to completely trust everyone around them with making the decisions that the CEO agrees with. Therefore they are constantly updated on exactly what's going on, what kind of decisions are agreed on, etc (hence CEOs working crazy hours and crazy amount of stress)
For a good example, see "Disney War" (about the culture of Disney executives and former CEO Michael Eisner).
Based on my experiences (reading book, reading about other CEOs and being around my company's own CEO), I find it very difficult to believe the "I never knew about this decision" tactic that Patricia Dunn is playing.

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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