California Says Hewlett-Packard Stopped Cooperating

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California Attorney General Bill Lockyer said Hewlett-Packard Co. stopped cooperating with his investigation of the company.

“Today we ran into a brick wall,” Mr. Lockyer said in an interview. California will become more aggressive in its probe because of the company’s “stalling tactics,” Mr. Lockyer said.

Hewlett-Packard Co.’s new law firm has advised the company to stop handing over documents or talking, Mr. Lockyer said. Hewlett-Packard said today it hired Morgan, Lewis & Bockius as Chief Executive Officer Mark Hurd prepares for a press conference at the company’s headquarters in Palo Alto, California. Mr. Lockyer said he might show up at the event.

The company’s shares today fell the most since February after the Washington Post reported that e-mails it obtained suggest Mr. Hurd had more involvement in the investigation than the company has said. Mr. Hurd said in a statement today that he plans to give “as much clarity as we can” to the probe, which involved potentially illegal methods of gathering information and has drawn scrutiny from regulators and lawmakers.

“If Mark Hurd is being implicated and had a bigger role than it was thought to date, that would jeopardize his running the firm and that would be a severe negative on the stock,” Michael Cuggino, Pacific Heights Asset Management LLC, which owns 200,000 Hewlett-Packard shares, said in an interview. “He’s recognized as the driver behind H-P’s turnaround.”

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