Internal Probe at HP Included Corporate Spokesman's Phone Records

Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) officials said Saturday that the company improperly accessed phone records of a corporate spokesman during its investigation into unauthorized leaks to the press.

Spokesman Michael Moeller was one of two HP employees targeted during the company's internal probe, said Robert Sherbin, another HP spokesman, who would not identify the other targeted employee.

Sherbin said the investigation into Moeller's potential involvement with press leaks was "baseless" and found that Moeller had no part in the leaks.

Moeller, a former reporter at BusinessWeek and PC Week, said that HP CEO Mark Hurd and Chairwoman Patricia Dunn both apologized to him.

"I think it should speak volumes that I'm still doing my job," Moeller said Saturday.

Dunn has acknowledged that she authorized the investigation during which private investigators hired by HP used Social Security numbers and other personal information to pose as company directors, employees and journalists and access logs of their home and cell phone calls.

The probe resulted in the resignation of two HP directors and the demotion of a third. George Keyworth II quit the board after acknowledging he was a source of the leaks, while Thomas Perkins stormed out of a May 18 board meeting in protest of the investigators' tactics.

Dunn will step down as chairwoman in January and be replaced by Hurd.

The FBI and California's attorney general are among the state and federal agencies investigating HP.

A congressional panel said Friday it wants to question key figures in the scandal surrounding "pretexting" — the practice of impersonating people to access their personal information.