Former HP chairman Patricia Dunn pleaded not guilty in court yesterday to four felony charges over the board spying scandal.

Dunn made a brief appearance at Santa Clara County Superior Court in San Jose, California, on charges that she ordered an investigation to identify board members who may have leaked board deliberations to news media.

According to charges filed by the California Attorney General's office, private investigators hired by HP used false pretenses to gain access to the phone records of directors, HP employees and journalists, which the state says is illegal.

Dunn spoke only once during her five-minute appearance, answering "Yes" when Superior Court Judge Jerome Nadler asked if she waived her right to a preliminary hearing within 10 days. The charges against her include using false or fraudulent pretences to obtain confidential information from a public utility, wrongful use of computer data, identity theft and conspiracy to commit each of those crimes.

At her side in the courtroom, and while walking through a crowd of reporters and photographers, was her husband, William Jahnke. The same charges have also been filed against Kevin Hunsaker, a former senior lawyer at HP, who pleaded not guilty at his arraignment earlier this month.

Also charged are Ronald L. DeLia, a Boston private detective; Matthew DePante, manager of Action Research Group, a Florida information broker; and Bryan Wagner, a Colorado man said to have obtained private phone records while working for Action Research.

Attorneys will return to Superior Court Friday to discuss scheduling of future hearings. Dunn and the other defendants are not required to appear.