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Published: Saturday, 12/31/2011

Ousted CEO flashed bank balance, letter says


SAN FRANCISCO — Efforts by Mark Hurd, former Hewlett-Packard Co. chief executive officer, to impress an H-P event hostess included showing her his checking-account balance of more than $1 million, according to a letter detailing the sexual harassment allegations that led to his ouster.

The letter was obtained late Thursday by the Associated Press after the Delaware Supreme Court ruled that Mr. Hurd’s lawyers, who had attempted to keep it confidential, didn’t show that disclosing it would violate California privacy rights.

Attorney Gloria Allred sent the letter last year on behalf of Jodie Fisher, who was hired as a contract employee to help with networking events and who accused Mr. Hurd of sexual harassment.

Although a company investigation did not find evidence to support the harassment claim, it uncovered inaccurate expense reports for his outings with Ms. Fisher. Mr. Hurd was forced out in August, 2010. Ms. Allred alleged in the letter that Mr. Hurd made it clear he expected to have a sexual relationship with Ms. Fisher, using his “status and authority as CEO of HP.”

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