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Probe: February 8, 2001

February 08, 2001

QUESTION: I was arrested Jan. 29 and my car impounded by Calexico police. My father went to get my car out of the impound lot. They wouldn't let him have it.

The police claim I have to pick up the car because it's in my name. How can I pick it up when I'm sitting in the Imperial County jail?

Can I give my dad a power of attorney letter so he can get the car released to him? Will my signature be enough?

The car was towed from the 7-Eleven parking lot. It was not involved in drugs or anything like that.

It's a new car. I'm still making payments on it. — Doing Time, Calexico

We didn't do much for you. By the time we talked to Calexico police Cmdr. Mario Sanchez, your father, armed with a letter from you, had arranged to pick up the car.

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By the time you read this your car should be safely out of hock.

Sanchez said the Police Department is reluctant to release a car to anybody but the registered owner without written permission from the owner.

A RIGHT TO KNOW — I agree the subject of a background check has the right to know about derogatory information turned up.

When we were adopting our three children, the county adoption department ran background checks on everybody in our household over age 18.

They took our fingerprints, our Social Security numbers and our drivers' license numbers.

The background check turned up information that there were two restraining orders against me, one valid until 2002.

If the adoption social worker had not called me, I could not have confronted that incorrect information and I would not have my children today.

The only link between me and the woman with two restraining orders was we had the same last name. She was a black woman in Oakland and I am a white woman in Imperial County. — Accused, Brawley

The identity issue could have been resolved by a comparison of your fingerprints. However, you can't depend on a high degree of diligence or accuracy by the background checkers if the accused can't examine the report.

Before the election in Florida, convicted felons were stricken from voting rolls. Apparently, election officials were not too careful.

One voter testified under oath he was cut from the voting list because his name was similar but not identical to an ex-convict. Reportedly he was just one of hundreds, if not thousands, erroneously purged.

I GOT MINE — Tell those seniors to fill out their property tax assistance forms and send them in for their refunds. I am no brain but I got mine. It's simple.

I only got $20. If I had paid $36 to get it filled out, I would have lost money. — Thrifty, Imperial

Twenty dollars is better made than lost!

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