snoop.jpgI’ve written a lot about how there’s little privacy in the work place when it comes to your email. I’m not a big fan of employers reading their workers’ personal information but it’s become a fact of life, especially if your boss is looking to fire you and needs a reason.

I didn’t think I’d have to also write about workers snooping on other workers, but it seems I must.

Last week, it was revealed that a well known Philadelphia news anchor, Larry Mendte,mendte.JPG was spying on his co-anchor Alycia Lane,land.jpg and he now faces criminal charges.

This guy allegedly hacked into her email over 500 times and passed along the dirt he dug up to a newspaper reporter who wrote stories about Lane.

This from the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Apparently, Mendte never thought he would get caught.

But he has not appeared on air since May 29 when FBI Agents Brian Herrick and Jason Stroud seized his computers and found e-mails from Lane’s Yahoo! account, one from March 2006 and two from June 2006.

Lane’s sexy bikini-clad photos on a beach, one of which appeared on Page 6 of the New York Post, were also found on Mendte’s computer. Lane originally e-mailed a photo to a friend.

Asked if Mendte sent the bikini photos to the New York Post, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Levy said, “I don’t know if he sent them. They were on his computer. I would argue that [they were sent to the newspaper] at trial.”

Mendte used computers at his Chestnut Hill home, his vacation home and his office at KYW, as well as a Union League computer once, to access Lane’s personal e-mail accounts at Apple Computer and Yahoo!, according to the information.

In a recent lawsuit against KYW, Lane contended that Mendte was “obsessively jealous” of her since 2004, especially after learning she earned about $800,000 a year, more money than he.

Mendte was fired from CBS3 on June 23, after co-anchoring the news with Lane at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. from September 2003 until Lane was dismissed.

While an employer can pretty much go through all your email folks, workers don’t have that right in the workplace. Just because you can look over the shoulder of your coworker and see what they’re writing about on their computer, or some how you obtain their password, my advice is, keep your roving eyes to yourself.

If you’re trying to get dirt on someone so you can further your own career, that will probably land you on the unemployment line, or even up on criminal charges if you’re caught. Not to mention the fact that it’s highly unethical.

I know, it’s hard not to jump into the gossip pool, and what better way than getting some personal juicy tidbits on a coworker thank reading their email, but resist this urge, please.

It’s wrong to dig through your coworker’s desk when no one’s around, and it’s wrong, and illegal, to dig through their computer files and email.

Why would a successful newsman like Mendte do such a thing? I’m still scratching my head.

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