Why Not Baskins? AG’s Office is Vague

So why did former Hewlett-Packard General Counsel Ann Baskins escape state charges in the boardroom spying scandal? Not surprisingly, a late Wednesday afternoon press conference by the attorney general didn’t provide much of an answer.

“As to any other possible defendants in this case, suffice it to say we just don’t have the evidence at this point to charge anyone other than these five,” said Chief Deputy Attorney General Robert Anderson. He was referring to former HP Chairwoman Patricia Dunn and Kevin Hunsaker, formerly a senior attorney and ethics director, as well as three private contractors — all charged Wednesday with obtaining reporters’ and board members’ private phone records under false pretenses.

But Anderson and Attorney General Bill Lockyer made it clear that the investigation “remains active and incomplete” and that there may be “other possible defendants down the road.”

Anderson also slammed suggestions that Lockyer filed the charges to bolster his campaign for state treasurer. “It’s not any kind of election-year gimmick at all,” he said.

Another tidbit from the press gaggle: The attorney general’s office has talked with federal prosecutors, but that’s about as far as the coordination seems to go.

“As far as what the feds may be doing, what their timetable is, I couldn’t answer that,” Anderson said. “You’d have to ask them. Were we in a race with the feds or anyone else to file charges? The answer is no.”

Hunsaker surrendered to authorities Thursday, was booked and has a tentative arraignment date of Dec. 6, according to the AG’s office.

Cheryl Miller

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