Dismissal, light sentences in Hewlett Packard
HP logo courtesy hp.com
By Jason Bennert, Bay City News Service
March 14, 2007
SAN JOSE (BCN) - The Hewlett-Packard spying case, which
opened with a bang of
felony indictments against the company's board of directors chairwoman
four other defendants, ended today with a whimper, with the cases
four remaining defendants receiving dismissals and resulting in
community service sentences.
Former HP board Chairwoman Patricia Dunn had the case against
her dismissed while three of her co-defendants, without admitting
guilt or responsibility, agreed to perform 96 hours of community
service each and pay restitution in exchange for having their
Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Ray Cunningham agreed
to allow Ronald DeLia, Matthew Depante and Kevin Hunsaker to plead
no contest to a single misdemeanor count with the agreement that
if they completed their community service and paid restitution
by Sept. 12, the charge would be dismissed.
"The court ... will dismiss the case. No conviction will
result as a result of the pleas," Cunningham said.
Cunningham dismissed the case against Dunn outright, citing her
health condition. Dunn has been undergoing chemotherapy for recurrent
Dunn's attorney, James Brosnahan, said today's action exonerates
"It is a vindication of Patty Dunn in every sense of the
word," Brosnahan said.
The attorney representing Hunsaker, who was a lawyer himself
in HP's general counsel office, summarized the defendant's view
of today's action for the judge.
"There will not be an acknowledgement of guilt or responsibility
on behalf of Mr. Hunsaker or the other defendants. We simply do
not believe they committed a crime," defense attorney Tom
Outside the courtroom, Nolan admitted that the change in administrations
at the attorney general's office after Jerry Brown took over from
Bill Lockyer had an impact on the case's settlement.
"The new attorney general played a significant role,"
Today's action does not preclude the federal government from
filing charges in connection with HP's use of telephone pretexting
to obtain personal phone records and other private information
of journalists, company employees and company board members.
One of the original defendants at the company, Bryan Wagner,
has already pleaded guilty to federal charges in connection with
his role in the HP spying case.
Nolan believes the collapse of the state's case will deter any
further federal prosecutions.
"My hope is it tells the federal government what this was
worth, which was not very much," Nolan said.
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