Judge orders Hurd letter unsealed

The letter, which contained allegations of sexual harassment, led to Mark Hurd's departure from Hewlett-Packard

A judge in Delaware on Thursday ordered the unsealing of a letter containing allegations of sexual harassment by former Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd, which ultimately led to his departure from the company.

Hurd, who is now co-president of Oracle, was accused of sexual harassment by former HP contractor Jodie Fisher. The letter in question was sent to HP by Fisher's attorney.

The board did not find Hurd guilty of the harassment allegations, but said he had violated other company policies, including with regard to inaccurate expense reports. Hurd resigned in August and soon took the job at Oracle.

Hurd's attorney told the Wall Street Journal on Friday that she plans to appeal the judge's move. The letter, which "contains many inaccuracies," should remain confidential, she told the paper.

Under the judge's order, HP has 10 days to submit a public version of the letter. The judge ordered that several passages be kept under seal.

However, given the planned appeal it's not clear when the letter will actually see the light of day.

The letter is at issue in a lawsuit brought against HP by a shareholder last year in connection with Hurd's departure.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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