A handful of players in the
spying controversy have a date with legislators later this month.
Whether they show up for the event is another matter.
A subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives "invited" H-P Chairwoman Patricia Dunn and General Counsel Ann Baskins to appear at a hearing. Larry Sonsini, chairman of law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, who has provided counsel to H-P, was also invited to testify, as was private security contractor Ronald DeLia.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee is conducting a broad inquiry into the practice of "pretexting" -- a practice involving impersonating an individual to gain access to their personal information -- which recently ensnared Hewlett-Packard.
H-P acknowledged last week that its efforts to plug media leaks may have led private investigators it hired to access personal phone records of board members and journalists through pretexting.
The company's stock has thus far proven impervious to the controversy, which resulted in Patricia Dunn announcing that she will step down in January. George Keyworth, a member of H-P's board who admitted being a source to the media, resigned from the board as well.
In addition to the House inquiry, California Attorney General Bill Lockyer is conducting a criminal investigation into the matter, and federal prosecutors are also seeking information from H-P.
H-P spokesman Michael Moeller declined to comment on whether Dunn or Baskins would attend or testify before the House hearing, which is entitled "Hewlett-Packard Pretexting Scandal" and is scheduled for Sept. 28.
"H-P has been and continues to fully and completely cooperate with all investigations and inquiries, including the one being led by the House subcommittee," said Moeller.
Calls to Sonsini and the attorney representing DeLia were not immediately returned.
The House stopped short of issuing subpoenas requiring testimony. Dunn and Baskins have until Tuesday, Sept. 19, to confirm whether they will voluntarily participate.
"Given the circumstances surrounding this particular case of pretexting involving the highest levels of corporate governance within Hewlett-Packard Company (HP), the company's general counsel, and the board of directors' outside counsel, I ask that HP carefully consider this hearing opportunity to be fully open and transparent with the testimony that its officers and counsel provide," read the letter of invitation Ed Whitfield, chairman of the subcommittee on oversight and investigations.
Separately, H-P was hit with a shareholder lawsuit Friday alleging substantial damage and expense to the company as a result of the pretexting, according to news reports.
Shares of H-P closed regular trading off 7 cents at $36.18.