LOS ANGELES: An arraignment scheduled last week for a longtime cable TV publicist charged with wiretapping a former employer's staff meetings has been postponed until next month.
Randolph Steve Webster was charged in early August with one count of illegal wiretapping, which could bring a sentence of three years in prison if he's convicted, for listening in on weekly staff meetings of Fox's FX cable network for more than two years after being fired from the company and while he worked for competitors.
He was set to be arraigned last Monday, but that's been pushed back to September 20, said his attorney, Steve Meister.
Webster, who is the brother-in-law of tennis legend Pete Sampras, was VP of publicity at FX from October 1999 to July 2001. Since then, he has worked as VP of corporate communications and marketing at Sony Pictures, in PR and marketing at the Game Show Network, and, most recently, as SVP of communications at Universal Television Group, according to the District Attorney's Office.
During that time, Webster allegedly called in to a toll-free number and used a password to eavesdrop on FX meetings.
Reuters said a DA spokesperson "would not reveal what Webster purportedly did with the wiretapped data." The spokesperson did say "Fox went to authorities after its proprietary information was leaked to the public," Reuters reported.
"We're not conceding that anything happened, but if the calls took place, they were an error in judgment without any criminal intent," Meister said.
Webster is currently out on bail. He is no longer working with Universal.