HP board meets amid probe scandal

Board meets as controversy widens over the tactics used in a probe into media leaks, News.com has learned.

Hewlett-Packard's board of directors is meeting Wednesday amid widening controversy over the tactics used in a probe into media leaks, CNET News.com has learned.

An HP representative declined to comment on the agenda for the board meeting or say when in the day it was scheduled to take place.

HP also plans to hold a press conference somewhere in the San Francisco Bay Area on Friday afternoon after the stock market's 1 p.m. PDT closing. An HP spokesman confirmed the event and said that CEO Mark Hurd would be there, but would not say who else would attend or comment further.

Although HP would not comment on when the board meeting was adjourning on Wednesday, embattled Chairman Patricia Dunn is scheduled to be inducted into the Bay Area Business Hall of Fame at a dinner in San Francisco on Wednesday. A representative for the Bay Area Council, which is holding the event, said Dunn is still slated to accept the award in person later Wednesday. It is not clear whether the board meeting, which was scheduled before the scandal broke, would continue into Thursday.

Dunn, who led the probe into the media leaks, agreed last week to step down from her post in January, though she said she would remain on the board as a director.

HP has admitted that its investigation led to the unauthorized access of personal phone records of more than a dozen people, including board members, two employees, nine journalists and an unspecified number of others.

CNET News.com reported on Tuesday that two of its reporters were told by investigators that their phone records were targeted the week of Jan. 17, the week before a key article was published on an internal strategy session. A spokesman for former director Tom Perkins said on Wednesday that that timeframe conflicted with what he was told by HP Chairman Patricia Dunn.

"It was Tom Perkins's understanding that the CNET article triggered the investigation," Perkins spokesman Mark Corallo told CNET News.com on Wednesday. "That clearly was his understanding."

The California attorney general has said he believes there is enough evidence to bring charges against people both inside and outside the company. The FBI and U.S. Attorney's office have also launched criminal probes, while a congressional committee has scheduled hearings on the matter.

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