By Stephen Nellis
(Reuters) – A California court on Tuesday dismissed bribery charges against Apple Inc’s security chief, writing that a key part of the case was “pure speculation” by prosecutors and not supported by evidence .
In November, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office said a grand jury indicted Apple’s security chief Thomas Moyer and two officers from the sheriff’s office.
Prosecutors alleged that Moyer offered to donate the iPad to the sheriff’s office after a 2019 meeting in exchange for help obtaining concealed weapons permits for the company’s executive protection team.
It is illegal to carry a concealed weapon without a license in California, and county sheriffs have broad discretion over whether to grant them.
Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Eric S. Geffon found on Tuesday that Moyer had been in talks with the sheriff’s office about permits for over a year at the time of the 2019 meeting. There, Geffon wrote, the evidence suggests Moyer believed the permits were already approved and would soon be issued.
Geffon said prosecutors erred in alleging that Moyer had corrupt intent in offering to donate the iPads.
“This argument is pure speculation and is not supported by the evidence presented to the grand jury,” Geffon wrote.
Additionally, Geffon wrote that Moyer’s offer to donate the iPads to the sheriff’s office, rather than to a specific officer, and Moyer’s following all of Apple’s internal rules to request a donation, showed an absence of intent to corrupt.
Apple said in November it had already conducted an internal investigation and found no wrongdoing.
“I thank the Court for giving such attention to this case and for allowing me to move forward in my life,” Moyer said in a statement. “I also want to thank Apple, my friends and family for their continued support.”
(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; editing by Stephen Coates)