Fired Philly anchor could have charges dropped

If anchor, Alycia Lane is not arrested in 6 mos, charges could be dropped
February 25, 2008 1:30:38 PM PST
Charges will be dropped against former Philadelphia TV anchor Alycia Lane if she is not arrested in the next six months. Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Dina Douglas told Alycia Lane her case was adjourned in contemplation of dismissal, meaning that if Lane is not arrested in the next six months for any reason the charges will be dismissed.

The prosecution downgraded the charges against Lane, who once found herself the target of critical news coverage after she mailed bikini photos of herself to a married sports anchor, from felony assault to misdemeanor obstruction of government administration and harassment.

District attorney's office spokeswoman Barbara Thompson said that "despite the scratches on the officer's face, they did not rise to the level of physical injury required by the felony charge."

Lane was arrested around 2 a.m. on Dec. 16 and charged with assaulting an officer. A police complaint said she put a video camera in an officer's face as he tried to put a drunk person in a taxicab.

When a female officer intervened, Lane identified herself as a reporter and cursed at the officer, calling her a "(expletive) dyke," the complaint says. Lane then hit her in the face, causing two lacerations and swelling, it says.

Lane's lawyer David S. Smith denied that his client hit the officer.

"Alycia has maintained, and continues to maintain, that she is innocent of this charge," Smith said as he, Lane and Philadelphia radio personality Chris Booker left court.

He added, "She has not pleaded guilty to anything."

Lane, 35, served one day of community service with Project Home, which she described as a program that works to find places for homeless people to live.

Smith said she did the service voluntarily, without a court order.

Lane, in a tailored black wool suit and black heels, said, "I just want to say I'm so glad it's over, and I want to thank all those who supported me."

Lane, a Long Island native who joined Philadelphia's KYW-TV in 2003 and reportedly was paid $700,000 a year, was fired Jan. 7. The station issued a statement then saying the Emmy winner "has been released from her contract effective immediately."

KYW-TV president Michael Colleran said due to recent incidents involving Lane, "we have concluded that it would be impossible for Alycia to continue to report the news as she, herself, has become the focus of so many news stories."

Lane co-anchored 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts at KYW, a CBS affiliate. One of her lawyers in Philadelphia, Paul Rosen, said the station violated her contract by firing her because it had not expired.

Lane said as she left court that she was unsure about her professional plans.

The newscaster hit the headlines in May 2007 after she e-mailed photos of herself in a bikini to NFL network sports anchor Rich Eisen.

The photos were intercepted by Eisen's wife, who fired back a tart response, congratulating Lane for her fit physique

Lane said at the time that the pictures were meant to be good fun between old friends, not an attempt to interfere in Eisen's marriage.