HP settles spying claims

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Hewlett-Packard has reached a financial settlement with The New York Times and three BusineesWeek journalists who were spied on as part of the company’s boardroom scheme to identify the source of the leaks to the media.

The settlement ties up one of the remaining threads left from the scandal, which erupted in September 2006.

HP has declined to comment on the figure attached to the settlement, as did the lawyer representing The Times and the reporters. Reporters included John Markoff (The New York Times), Peter Burrows, Ben Elgin and Roger Crockett (all from BusinessWeek).

The scandal has led to the ousting of chairwoman Patricia Dunn and criminal charges were filed against Ms Dunn and the four investigators. Those charges were dropped, but one of the investigators, Bryan Wagner, was charged and pleaded guilty to identity theft and conspiracy. He is awaiting his sentence.

This, however, does not settle all the lawsuits. Five separate lawsuits were filed in August in the San Francisco Superior Court against HP, Dunn and Kevin Hunsaker, HP’s former ethics chief, for “illegal and reprehensible conduct”.

The plaintiffs in the five lawsuit include three reporters from CNET Networks’ News.com – Dawn Kawamoto, Stephen Shankland and Tom Krazit – and a former reporter from AP – Rachel Konrad, who is Shakland’s wife; Mr Kawamoto’s husband, Jon Kawamoto; and Mr Shankland’s parents, Thomas and Rebecca Shankland.

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