Follow all the coverage of Hewlett-Packard’s boardroom spying scandal � and the continuing legal fallout.
Following Wagner’s plea hearing Friday morning, defense attorney Stephen Naratil portrayed his client as a “classic dupe.”
“He was assured by many people, including lawyers, that what he was doing was completely legal,” said Naratil, managing partner of a Benicia-based law firm called Summit Defense.
Naratil wouldn’t name the lawyers who advised Wagner, but whoever they were, they were not working for HP, he said.
Yet if Wagner was such a low-level participant in the pretexting scheme, what incriminating testimony could he possibly offer against higher-profile defendants, such as Dunn and Kevin Hunsaker, who was HP’s ethics director?
“My client doesn’t know [Wagner] and had never heard his name until the charges came out in California,” Hunsaker’s lawyer, San Diego solo Michael Pancer, said, adding that he didn’t think the plea deal would affect his case at all.
Looking ahead, one question Wagner’s plea deal raises is whether federal prosecutors will cooperate with the new attorney general.
“As an expert in federal criminal law, I think it’s a shame whenever the state and federal authorities are not working together,” said Little, who practices at McDermott, Will & Emery. “There’s just no question that the two of them working together is better than one of them working alone.”