Larry Mendte is holding a press conference as we speak here in Philadelphia to explain HIS actions behind WHY he tapped into co-anchor Alycia Lane's email. Keep in mind that in my post on 8/20, I stated that there were rumors of being MORE to this story and sure enough...there is. In the press conference, here's what Larry said: "For thirty years, I have reported stories here in Philadelphia and across the country, and, now, I have become one through no one’s fault but my own. My actions have hurt and disappointed my family, colleagues, friends, and viewers who trusted me, and for that, I am truly sorry. My family has been incredibly strong and supportive. You will notice, however, that Dawn is not here with me today at this podium. She wanted to be, but I asked her not to. Although the image of my loving wife standing by my side may have helped me, I think it would hurt her. She still has to anchor the news, which she has done with remarkable personal strength and grace right through this process. Having her here with me now would have pulled her directly into this intense media spotlight, and I will not do that to her. I have already done enough to her. Let me explain".
"This whole episode started five years ago when Alycia Lane came to Philadelphia", Larry said. Almost immediately, Dawn began hearing rumors that Larry and Alycia's relationship was "a little too close and to watch out".
The rumors were true, Mendte confessed. "Our relationship was improper, flirtatious and unprofessional. Dawn found proof of that relationship when she waited in my office on New Years Day 2005 and read emails that I had left out on my desk, emails between Alycia and me that confirmed her suspicions. Dawn confronted me with the emails. I told her the truth", he said.
Larry admitted their relationship was "a bit too close" (long dinners with Alycia, out late with Alycia and allowing her to put on her make-up in his office everday). He apologized to Dawn and told her he loved her. Larry then backed off from Alycia. The relationship that was once close quickly turned into a feud.
"Alycia Lane then became friends with others in the building, including the new General Manager. Suddenly, I had shows and responsibilities pulled away from me without explanation. The GM angrily confronted me one day and said that I was bad mouthing him. I was not. But, clearly, I was not on the list you want to be on with the new GM. I found proof that it was Alycia who was undermining me when I saw an email she sent to management that she left up on the computer she uses on the set. I then started looking at other emails with passwords I learned when Alycia asked me to help set up her work retirement account, a private stock account, and when she showed me personal emails. I did this without her permission, and it was wrong. I saw more emails bad mouthing me".
Larry confronted her, asked her to stop and she said she would not. He complained to management of this but felt they ignored him. His role was being diminished at the station. During an argument on-set, Alycia told him she was the "rising star", that "he was 50 and on his way out". THAT made the newspers.
"During a meeting the next day, the General Manager acknowledged that he had checked my contract and he really couldn’t move me. We were the fastest growing newscast in the country. We were winning local and national awards. And, my GM was checking my contract to see where he could move me? I felt I was in trouble. My career, my future, my family's future and this is where I got into more trouble, federal trouble".
He stated he used a "key catcher" available on the internet, began looking into all of Alycia's email accounts by illegally gaining access. He started seeing things of interest to the press and passed them along. He stated he wasn't the sole source on some things, not the only source on others. He admits it was wrong, tells us the motivation and makes no excuses for his behavior which he said is why today he plead guilty and has cooperated. He said he's offered to give speeches to colleges, corporations and community groups on internet security and "publicly makes that offer now". He went on to say his father used to say "that everybody serves a purpose in life if only as a bad example". "I am now an example who can help others. Many employees and students are cavalier about missuse of the internet and emails, they don't know that it is a federal crime and that you can and you will be prosecuted. I am now living proof of that. I know that pleading guilty and cooperating defies the new world order that teaches us to deny, deny, deny at all costs. Many people have told me, 'maybe they'll never find out the whole truth...with a good lawyer you might get away with it'. He said he has a good lawyer and "that's not the point". I just cannot do this to my family and allow this to drag on any more". "Most importantly I did it" he said. He said he often tells his children "if you don't take responsibility nothing will ever change. I am taking responsibility and I am seeking help to change", he said. He went on to say "I appologize to Alycia Lane for what I did and ask that this long mutually, self destructive fued now end. We both paid a high cost and others have been hurt as well. I am sorry to all. My wife also is owed apologies. I will forever be in Dawn’s debt for her forgiveness and her loyalty. I will work every day to deserve her love, and I love her more everyday. The rest of my family also has been strong and loyal for me during this time. I don’t know what I would have done without them. I want to apologize one more time to the viewers, the people who kept us on the air with their loyalty and their trust. I let you down. I hope the day will come when I will once again be worthy of your trust. I do want to stay here in Philadelphia. I realize that I may never anchor here again, but I love this city far too much to move. This is where I grew up; this is where I want to raise my children. I don’t want to take this city from them because of my mistakes.There is one last thing I would like to say. Many of you know I attended Catholic schools in the area. Confession is a big part of my faith. So is forgiveness. It is something we have all asked for at one time or another in our lives. I do so now, and, as always, I put my life in God’s hands. On the advice of counsel, I regret to say, I will not be taking any questions. Thank You".
So there it is, Larry Mendte's side of the story.