As the HP board spying scandal continues to get worse, HP's chairwoman, Patricia Dunn has finally spoken out publicly on the matter, saying that the use of pretexting for board members and reporters has been a "major embarrassment." After being quiet for a few days, that's all she can come up with? She also refused to resign, but says if the board wants her to, she will. However, her statements highlight how problematic the situation really is. She continues to distance herself from the problem. Just as the company originally tried to make it out that the leak of info was worse than illegally obtaining records by pretending to be someone else, Dunn isn't taking any responsibility for the scandal at all. She claims that she wasn't spying on the board, because she had the backing of the board in the investigation -- even though this contradicts the statements of other board members. She says she's not happy, but she called for the investigation, despite a huge number of more pressing priorities. She says she doesn't even know the name of the investigating firm, saying she had people at the company hire it for her. She says she believed that the investigating company had been told that "everything done would be not only legal but fully compliant with HP's high standards for both ethics and business practices," but she knew about the use of pretexting much earlier than this. She knew about it in May when she exposed the board member who leaked, and Tom Perkins specifically called her out on the use of it. If she's embarrassed now, it's not because of the use of pretexting, which Perkins made clear to her was "illegal, unethical, and a misplaced corporate priority." If she were embarrassed back then, she would have apologized then. Instead, it certainly appears that the embarrassment is about being caught and having this info exposed. Yes, she should be embarrassed, but so should HP's shareholders and employees to discover how their board has handled this mess. Update: And just to make this more fun, California's Attorney General is now saying that criminal charges are likely going to be filed concerning the spying. They just want to complete their investigation. Update 2: And, now the FCC is getting involved as well.
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