California's Attorney General has determined that the H-P phone record ripping indeed violated state law.
While state Attorney General Bill Lockyer has determined Hewlett-Packard Co.'s clandestine investigation of its own board members violated the law, he says it's still unclear whether anyone will be prosecuted.
Lockyer said Thursday that the Palo Alto-based company's gumshoe tactics to root out the source of a media leak violated two California laws related to identity theft and illegal access to computer records.
The company has landed in a mounting legal and ethical debate for hiring a private investigation firm whose agents impersonated HP officials and journalists to get phone companies to hand over detailed records of home phone calls.
But Lockyer said he has not decided whether the company or anyone acting on its behalf will face civil or criminal charges.
"The question was, was a crime committed? The answer is yes. Does that mean charges will result? Well, we haven't completed the investigation so we're not yet certain as to who committed the crime," Lockyer said in a phone interview
Criminal charges aside, surely Patty Dunn is going to have to take some responsibility for authorizing an investigation that wound up employing criminal tactics. Right?
Calif. AG: HP Tactics Violate State Laws [Associated Press in Forbes]