Army vet's life turned upside down following typo

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by Gary Harper

Bio | Email | Follow: @GaryHarper3TV

azfamily.com

Posted on July 30, 2012 at 5:45 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 30 at 7:00 PM

PHOENIX -- Steve Finn is a loving husband, a devoted solider and a proud father. Finn was recently honorably discharged from the Army and he's currently spending his days trying to land a civilian job.

"I've gone to employers looking for jobs and handing out my résumé," Finn said. "I've applied online to multiple agencies and whatnot."

In the meantime, Finn is getting unemployment benefits through the state just to help out until he can find employment.

Finn said he sent out a ton of résumés, but he couldn't figure out why he wasn't getting hired by anybody.  He wasn't even getting phone calls, that is, until he got a letter from the Department of Economic Security. DES told him in that letter that they were terminating his benefits because they think he's in prison.

It turns out Finn's identity was confused with a different guy -- a convicted child molester currently serving time in the Department of Corrections.
  
Unfortunately, the arresting agency back in 2006 mistyped the defendant’s Social Security number by just one digit and that one typo attached the child molester’s criminal information to Finn.
  
"Honestly, I didn't know what to think at first," Finn said. "I thought it was going to be an easier fix. I thought people would help me."

3 On Your Side got involved and immediately contacted the Arizona Department of Public Safety, which is responsible for storing records for Arizona law enforcement agencies and disseminating that information to the FBI.
  
Carrick Cook with DPS said with the documentation I provided, the agency immediately corrected the error, which was made by another law enforcement agency.

"Basically, our supervisors went into the system and with the permission for the arresting agency, we fixed the error so his Social Security number is the only one listed under his name and we sent in a request to the FBI to fix the error in the national database as well," Cook said.
   
I also contacted the Department of Economic Security, which put Finn and his family back on unemployment benefits after realizing Finn wasn't in prison. And finally, I got back in touch with Finn to tell him the good news.
  
Finn is grateful and said he owes it all to 3 On Your Side for making things right.

"I appreciate it," Finn said. "Like I've said before, I couldn't have done it without you guys. So many times I've tried to correct it on my own, but I kept running into a brick wall."

There's no doubt Finn hasn't been getting any job offers because of that typo. I was happy to help him out and I appreciate DPS fixing the problem, even though it wasn't their fault to begin with.

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