The Office of the California Attorney General agrees that the state should dismiss charges against an investigator charged in the Hewlett-Packard (HP) spying scandal because he has already pleaded guilty to similar federal charges.
The state will stipulate that charges against Bryan Wagner should be dropped at a court hearing scheduled in his case Friday afternoon in Santa Clara County Superior Court in San Jose, California.
Wagner is a private investigator who admits he used false pretenses to obtain calling records of people being investigated by HP for leaking board deliberations to reporters. The 29-year-old resident of Littleton, Colo., pleaded guilty Jan. 12 to two felony charges in Federal District Court in San Jose and agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors in exchange for possible leniency at sentencing June 20.
Because he pleaded guilty to federal charges, the state attorney general agrees he shouldn’t face trial on state charges, too. Wagner pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of aggravated identity theft.
“Wagner contends that his recent plea agreement with federal prosecutors effectively bars state authorities from prosecuting him in state court for his conduct in the HP matter,” said Nathan Barankin, a spokesman for Attorney General Jerry Brown, in an e-mail. “Our office agrees with Wagner’s argument and will concede that our prosecution against Wagner must be dismissed.”
Four other defendants implicated in the HP scandal still face state charges: former HP Chairman Patricia Dunn, former HP legal counsel Kevin Hunsaker and two private detectives hired by HP for its investigations.