SAN JOSE, Calif. – Former Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) Chairman Patricia Dunn Wednesday pleaded not guilty to felony charges for spying on reporters and directors in a scandal that sullied the reputation of one of Silicon Valley's most venerable and respected companies.
Dunn's appearance at the San Jose, California, courthouse was the latest development in the boardroom-leak scandal that tarnished the reputation of a company that had long championed privacy and aspired to a code of conduct toward employees and customers called the "HP Way."
In HP's probes, investigators impersonated company board members, employees and journalists to get their private telephone records.
Dunn, who resigned in September and appeared before Congress the same month to testify about the investigation, has said she regretted the way the probe was handled, but did not accept personal responsibility for any deceptive tactics used.
California Attorney General Bill Lockyerfiled charges last month against Dunn and four other defendants because of tactics used in HP's effort in 2005 and 2006 to find the source of leaks to the media.
Dunn's attorney, Jim Brosnahan, has said that "these charges are being brought against the wrong person at the wrong time and for the wrong reasons" and that they were false.
"They are the culmination of a well-financed and highly orchestrated disinformation campaign," he has said.
Dunn, along with four other defendants named face four felony charges: conspiracy; fraudulent use of wire, radio or television transmissions; taking, copying and using computer data; and using personal identifying information without authorization. Each count could bring a maximum of three years in prison.
Also charged are former HP ethics officer Kevin Hunsaker and investigators Bryan Wagner, Ronald Delia and Matthew DePante of information supplier Action Research Group.