KUSA - I first heard about Jim Clarkson's situation - the fact that two organizations think he's dead but he's very much alive - on March 11. His son Michael emailed to tell me about his father's predicament.
Michael reminded me I'd interviewed him several years ago on a real-estate story and that's why he thought of me.
He told me his dad had been fighting with a federal agency and a union to restore his benefits and wasn't getting anywhere. Monday afternoon, I chatted with Michael about his dad's situation. It was clear this was a story and an interesting one.
Tuesday, I was going to the court for the Aurora theater shooting suspect's hearing. He was scheduled to have hearings all week. I told Michael I couldn't make any promises, but I would let him know how the hearing went and would move forward accordingly.
The hearing was shorter than expected, and in between writing my coverage, I decided to reach out to the D.C.-based folks in charge of Clarkson's fate.
One was the Officer of Personnel Management - that office paid Clarkson's pension - and the National Association of Letter Carriers - that provided the man's health coverage.
I emailed both, as well as Diana DeGette's office because Clarkson contacted her for help.
Typically, reporters get to work on all aspects of the story the day it's supposed to air, but I felt I had to squeeze some time on Tuesday to reach out to D.C. people the day before to give them time to research my questions and provide answers.
My interview with Jim was scheduled for Wednesday. The way things were left Tuesday night with the D.C. people is they were "looking into it."
Wednesday morning, I was told that OPM fixed the problem. Jim got a call Wednesday morning as well, from one of the higher ups at OPM. Jim told me that manager apologized and said everything will be fixed in five business days.
Did I help get this moving? I will likely not know for sure. OPM isn't talking because of "privacy concerns" even though Jim gave them written permission to speak to me, but I'm glad Jim is getting some resolution that happened to be perfectly timed with my involvement.
Watch the full story here.
I typically do Crime and Justice related stories. But if you have something you'd like me to look into, email me Anastasiya.firstname.lastname@example.org
(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)