Plea Deal Said to Be Offered in HP Pretexting Case

Former HP chairman Patricia Dunn reportedly offered a deal that would drop felony charges.


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Posted January 19, 2007

David Needle

California State prosecutors have reportedly made an offer to drop felony charges against former HP (Quote) chairman Patricia Dunn, who resigned in the wake of the company's pretexting scandal last year.

According to the Associated Press, four other defendants in the case charged with felonies have also been offered deals if they agree to plead guilty to a lesser misdemeanor charge.

Stephen Naratil, a lawyer for private investigator Bryan Wagner, one of the defendants, told the AP the Attorney General's office offered to drop all four felony charges against his client in exchange for a misdemeanor guilty plea.

Naratil also said that Deputy Attorney General Robert Morgester told him the other four defendants in the case were offered the same deal. Naratil could not be reached for comment.

A spokesman for the California State A.G.'s office said it doesn't comment on settlement talks or plea negotiations. The other four defendants in the case are Dunn, former HP ethics officer Kevin Hunsaker and other investigators Ronald DeLia and Matthew DePante.

Dunn and the others pleaded not guilty to the charges back in November. HP officials, including Dunn and CEO Mark Hurd, also testified before Congress in the case.

The scandal, which involved HP hiring investigators to look into leaks of private board room discussions, exploded on the scene last year when it was revealed the investigators used pretexting to probe the phone records of reporters as well as HP board members and certain employees.

This article was first published on InternetNews.com. To read the full article, click here.

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