Former KYW-TV Philadelphia anchor Larry Mendte is not only without a job, he’s facing a federal felony charge that could get him a maximum of five years in prison. The US Attorney in Philadelphia has charged Mendte with logging into a co-worker’s personal email accounts approximately 537 times.
The FBI had seized Mendte’s home computer and the criminal information details how he accessed the email accounts of former co-anchor Alycia Lane at his home, at KYW and from other locations. Mendte allegedly passed information from Lane’s email messages to newspaper gossip columnists.
“The mere accessing and reading of privileged information is criminal. This case, however, went well beyond just reading someone’s email. The defendant here engaged in a systematic pattern of intrusion that included not a dozen incidents, not a hundred incidents, but more than 500 separate intrusions,” said Acting US Attorney Laurie Magid.
Lane has a lawsuit pending against KYW and Mendte over her own firing, after she was arrested in an altercation with New York City police. Mendte read the statement from management of the CBS O&O on January 7th that it would be “impossible for Alycia to continue to report the news when she, herself, has become the focus of so many news stories.” While Mendte was not involved in the NYC incident, it turned out that he had been the source of some of those stories in the Philadelphia Daily News and on a local gossip website.