The San Mateo district attorney’s office has decided not to press charges against tech website Gizmodo and its former editor Jason Chen for their part in a case involving a misplaced Apple iPhone 4 prototype. The district attorney’s office said that two men have been charged with misdemeanors.
Two other men, 28-year-old Safe Wallower of Emeryville and 22-year-old Brian Hogan of Redwood City, have been accused of misappropriation of lost property. Wallower has also been accused with possession of stolen property.
The item in question was a prototype of the iPhone 4 that had been left at a bar in Redwood City by an Apple engineer in March 2010. Hogan’s lawyer has identified him as the man who sold the found iPhone to Gizmodo, which published analysis and photos of the device months before apple unveiled it.
“We represent a 22-year-old young man, Brian Hogan, who has never been in trouble with the law. Brian is extremely remorseful for not having done more to return the cell phone he found,” attorneys for Hogan said in a statement. “Although we do not believe that charges of any kind should have been filed, Brian fully accepts responsibility for his actions. We are working cooperatively with the district attorney to resolve this misdemeanor charge promptly.”
Gawker Media said in a statement that it was pleased with the decision. The company stated that they believe that they were acting within the law and the whole issue has been stressful for editor Jason Chen.
After the incident, Gizmodo was banned from Apple events, including its Worldwide Developer Conference.