IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – An Idaho Springs man is fighting to clear his record even though he did not commit a crime.

4 On Your Side Investigator Rick Sallinger found out arrest records don’t always get erased when they should. This appears to be an extreme example.

When someone is arrested it’s tough to get that removed from record, even if the case is dropped. Lenny Haglund has a problem and it’s not his fault. If someone conducts a background check on him they may see an arrest for “ritual mutilation.”

“No, I never mutilated a corpse or anybody who was living,” Haglund said.

The case goes back to the Chicago suburb of Buffalo Grove in 1995 where he was arrested for a domestic battery charge that was later dropped. That crime is a 5/12-3.2. But somehow it got put in the records as a 5/12-32, missing the decimal and messing up his life.

Haglund is currently unemployed but worked for the Idaho Springs Police Department for many years as a code enforcement officer. He was hired only after some thorough checking.

“The chief called me into the office and said, ‘Excuse me Lenny, what the (deleted) is ritual mutilation?’ I said I had no idea,” Haglund said.

According to Illinois state law, ritual mutilation is anybody who knowingly mutilates, dismembers or tortures another person as part of a ceremony.

Police Sgt. Jim Vogt confirms they checked out Haglund’s background.

“His frustration is understandable and he’s trying to get a hold of anybody and everybody to listen to get it fixed,” Vogt said.

Haglund believes he has been rejected from many jobs because of it, including the Department of Commerce.

“I can’t expunge a charge I was never arrested for,” he said. “It’s sort of a catch 22 of this situation.”

Haglund has contacted the police, courts, FBI, senators and others for years and it’s still not corrected. He says it’s kind of like the song “Hotel California.” “You can check out any time, but you can never leave.”


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