Thursday, December 7, 2006
Hewlett-Packard has agreed to pay millions to settle spying claims brought against the company by the state Attorney General. From Sacramento, Marianne Russ reports, most of the money will go toward prosecuting similar crimes in California.
Hewlett-Packard will pay $14.5 million to resolve allegations it used false pretenses to get private phone records in order to uncover the source of media leaks. One million of that will cover civil penalties and the state’s investigation costs. The rest will be used to form a state fund to prosecute privacy and piracy violations.
Attorney General Bill Lockyer says the money will be available both to his office, and to local prosecutors:
Lockyer: I hope that these business violations were anomalous, that it’s not something happening every day all the time, but the fund will be there if there are businesses that cross the line.”
Lockyer says Hewlett Packard has also agreed to corporate governance reforms. This civil settlement is separate from the criminal case against former HP chairwoman Patricia Dunn and several others allegedly involved in the spying case. That case is still pending.