HP Pretexting Scandal Claims Two More

Two key figures in HP’s pretexting scandal are now ex-employees.

Kevin Hunsaker, HP’s senior counsel and director of ethics, left effective today, a company spokesman said. Anthony Gentilucci, HP Boston’s security manager, resigned yesterday.

Former HP Chairman Patricia Dunn resigned Friday.

The departures come just a day before HP is to appear before a U.S. House panel investigating the legality of HP’s actions in its efforts to plug boardroom media leaks.

HP admits pretexting – assuming another’s identity to gain access to their personal telephone records – was used in the probe. HP also placed tracer software on a reporter’s computer and authorized physical surveillance on a reporter and one of its board members.

Pretexting for financial records is illegal under federal law. Using the same technique to obtain telephone records falls into a legal gray area. Congress is considering legislation to make it illegal.

Dunn, HP Chairman and CEO Mark Hurd, and general counsel Ann O. Baskins are all confirmed for Thursday testimony before the House. Hunsaker and Gentilucci have been issued subpoenas to appear.

“HP has encouraged them to appear,” HP spokesman Ryan Donovan said.

Also scheduled to appear before the House panel is legendary Silicon Valley attorney Larry Sonsini, HP’s outside counsel who was aware of the investigation and advised HP pretexting was legal.

The House Energy and Commerce’s subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations began an investigation into pretexting earlier this year.

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