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HP's top lawyer out
Baskins resigns as troubled company's top execs get set to go before House committee about probe scandal.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Ann Baskins, general counsel for embattled computer maker Hewlett-Packard, resigned from the company Thursday.

Her departure, effective immediately, came the day that HP Chairman and CEO Mark Hurd and recently ousted Chairman Patricia Dunn were set totestify before the House Energy and Commerce committee looking into practices used in HP's probe of leaks from its board of directors.


The company has admitted that investigators hired by HP obtained phone records of board members, executives and reporters by falsely claiming to be those individuals, a practice known as "pretexting."

Baskins has been with the company for 24 years, joining shortly after graduating from law school.

"Stepping down was a very hard decision for her, but by doing so she has put the interests of HP above her own and that is to be commended," said a statement from Hurd.

Baskins has been on the list of witnesses called to testify at the hearing Thursday. But she will invoke her right not to testify, Reuters reported.

HP outside counsel Larry Sonsini also has been called to testify.

A report on the scandal prepared by Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, the independent law firm hired by Hurd, and released by the company Sept. 22, showed Baskins had been briefed on both of the two phases of the company's investigation of boradroom leaks.

She was provided with updates on the second phase of the probe and a report outlining the pretexting methods used was addressed to her.

While the company has been the focus of media and government attention since the scandal became public three weeks ago, shares of HP (Charts) have held up fairly well, dipping about 3 percent.

For the year-to-date, HP shares have significantly outperformed rivals Dell (Charts) and IBM (Charts), although it has trailed those competitors slightly since the scandal.

HP leaders to express regret in testimony  Top of page

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