Philadelphia news anchors have gotten a rather infamous reputation lately, with Vince Dementri accused of vandalizing a colleague’s car over the summer, and the Alycia Lane/Larry Mendte feud. Larry Mendte was accused of hacking into Alycia Lane’s e-mails and spreading rumors that eventually cost her her job. Yesterday, Mendte received his punishment of six months house arrest for his actions against Lane, according to the Associated Press.
KYW anchors Larry Mendte and Alycia Lane worked together from 2004 to this January. Alycia Lane was the first to get into major trouble when she was arrested in New York after arguing with the police. Lane continues to fight against KYW in a wrongful-dismissal suit.
Mendte’s crime is hacking into Lane’s e-mail and spreading confidential information about her case. In addition, Mendte hacked into an e-mail of Lane in a swimsuit photo, which she had sent to sports anchor Rich Eisen.
Mendte continued to do this even after Lane’s firing in the beginning of the year. All told, Mendte got into over 500 of Lane’s e-mails, all the way back to March 2006.
Mendte has claimed that his early relationship with Lane was “flirtatious, unprofessional and improper,” according to several media reports, but it soured when his wife, Dawn Stensland, a local Fox station anchor, discovered it.
After that, Mendte distanced himself from Lane, who then tried to undermine him at the station- at least according to Mendte. Lane has denied these claims.
Mendte soon became threatened by Lane’s “rising star” at the network, which motivated him to undermine Lane. His leaks were discovered by a station employee, who found a computer logged into Lane’s account two months after her firing.
The FBI then started investigating Mendte and arrested him months later. On August 22, Mendte entered a guilty plea.
Before receiving his sentence yesterday, Mendte made a tearful apology speech to Lane in the courthouse. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael L. Levy called Mendte’s sorrow an “acceptance of responsibility with a but.”
Mendte could have gotten six months in prison for hacking into Lane’s computer and leaking the confidential e-mails. Instead, Mendte will have six months of house arrest, three years probation, 250 hours of community service to perform, and a $5,000 fine to pay.
This chapter of Philadelphia news infamy concludes as fellow disgraced anchor Vince DeMentri, accused of vandalism, now says he was fired because he had an affair with a still employed colleague.
Associated Press- “Ex-Philly TV anchor gets house arrest for hacking” www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hJTfkKbkepLvlZpmZY5PUtwK5M2AD94LV4U01
Philadelphia Inquirer- “Mendte gets 6 months of house arrest” www.philly.com/philly/news/homepage/20081125_Mendte_gets_6_months_of_house_arrest.html