former chairwoman and a handful of other players involved in a controversial company-sponsored spying campaign are now facing criminal charges.
California Attorney General Bill Lockyer has sought indictments against Patricia Dunn, H-P's recently resigned chairwoman, as well Kevin Hunsaker, a former senior lawyer at H-P, later Wednesday according to a report by the Associated Press.
A representative for Lockyer was not immediately available for comment.
Shares of H-P closed Wednesday up 60 cents, or 1.6%, to $38.02.
The California attorney general is among several different government agencies looking into efforts by H-P to discover the source of media leaks. The U.S. Department of Justice and the
Securities and Exchange Commission's
Enforcement Division are also looking into the affair.
H-P issued a terse statement regarding the indictments late Wednesday saying that the company "is continuing to cooperate with state and federal investigators looking into the boardroom leaks issue. The company has no further comment."
Last week, members of the House of Representatives grilled H-P CEO Mark Hurd, former Chairwoman Dunn and others in a seven-hour hearing about the affair.
H-P has been under scrutiny since acknowledging last month that investigators it retained to discover the source of internal media leaks accessed the personal phone records of board members, employees and journalists by impersonating those individuals -- a practice known as "pretexting." Since then, details have emerged of a mind-boggling spying operation in which investigators dug through trash bins, surreptitiously staked out the house of H-P board members and sent emails with tracing mechanisms to one newsroom.
Dunn resigned her post amid the scandal last month.
In addition to Dunn and Hunsaker, Lockyer is expected to bring charges against three other outside investigators who were involved in the leak investigation. All face felony charges of identity theft, unauthorized computer access, conspiracy to commit a crime and use of false pretenses to obtain confidential information from a public utility.
Hurd isn't expected to be charged.