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By | Ashlee Vance 28th September 2006 19:08

HP's top lawyer leaves job, holds tongue

Bleeds HP blue

Career in "ruin," HP's general counsel Ann Baskins fled the company last night with an exit package potentially worth well over $4m.

Some of the blame for HP's mishandling of its spy probe has been thrust on Baskins over the past week. The HP veteran has been portrayed as having ongoing knowledge of the leak probe that involved fraudulent techniques.

As a result of her ties to the scandal, Baskins resigned from HP. She also refused to testify today before a US House of Representatives subcommittee into the HP drama.

HP handed Baskins a standard severance package associated with a high-ranking veteran. The largest chunk of the package includes the right to exercise $3.7m in stock options.

"She bled HP blue ink," former HP Chairman Patricia Dunn said about Baskins, during her testimony at today's hearing. "This woman, I am sorry to say, her career is ruined. I relied on her as did many others.

"She was responsible for the oversight of the person carrying out the investigation."

Which compares to Dunn's take on her role in this mess. "I do not accept personal responsibility for what happened."®

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