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Larry Mendte

Former Coworker Charged with Snooping on Disgraced Anchor Alycia Lane

July 22, 2008 05:35 PM
by Josh Katz
Veteran television newscaster Larry Mendte was charged with illegally hacking into his co-anchor’s e-mail in a case that involves bikini pictures and sportscaster Rich Eisen.

30-Second Summary

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Larry Mendte, a longtime television newscaster, began co-anchoring Philadelphia’s KYW-TV nightly newscasts with Alycia Lane in September 2003. Last month, the CBS affiliate station fired Mendte after FBI agents retrieved his computer when searching his home for evidence that he accessed Lane’s personal e-mail account in an attempt to ruin her career.

Mendte could face six months in prison if he is convicted of “intentionally accessing a protected computer without authorization,” according to the Associated Press. Federal prosecutors say that Mendte hacked into Lane’s e-mail account 537 times since January and shared damaging personal information from her computer to a reporter from the Philadelphia Daily News.

Lane’s lawyer claims that Mendte snooped because he envied Lane’s popularity and her higher salary.

“Lane’s personal life had routinely become tabloid fodder,” the Associated Press writes, since she sent bikini-clad pictures of herself to the e-mail of NFL Network anchorman and former ESPN anchor Rich Eisen in 2007. Eisen’s wife, ABC sports reporter Suzy Shuster, discovered the e-mails as she and Eisen shared the e-mail account, and she caustically replied to Lane.

Lane said her relationship with Eisen was purely platonic, but her private troubles continued. In December 2007 she was arrested in New York for reputedly assaulting a police officer, and she was fired from the station in January 2008. She then sued KYW-TV for allegedly impairing her image.

A column in the Delaware County Daily Times, Mendte’s hometown paper, calls his fall from grace “tragic.”

Headline Link: ‘Fired TV anchor charged with e-mail snooping’

Background: The Lane-Eisen episode, Lane’s later troubles, Mendte investigated

Opinion & Analysis: Mendte’s fall

Key Players: Mendte, Lane and Eisen

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