The mysterious Heywood James

Interesting correction in today's Globe (scroll down):

Because the subject of an interview provided misleading information, a man quoted in a Page One story Tuesday about employees who telecommuted during Monday's snowstorm was incorrectly identified as Heywood James, 41, of Needham, and an employee of Fidelity Investments. Fidelity has no employee by that name.

In case you missed it, here's what the Globe originally said about how "Heywood James" spent his Monday:

Waking up yesterday to snowdrifts nearly a foot high at his home in Needham, James decided it wasn't worth the time and effort to get to his office in downtown Boston. He looked forward to fewer interruptions from colleagues and had an idyllic notion of more time with the children.

His plan to do financial modeling and field customer calls was working fine until about 10 a.m., when a snow-laden branch outside his house snapped, taking his cable, phone, and Internet connection down as well.

"There was nothing I could do but go to work," said James, 41, of Fidelity Investments, where only about 10 percent of the colleagues in his division were in the office.

So: Heywood James doesn't work at Fidelity. But does he exist, period? Did the Globe hear from an actual Fidelity employee who used an alias? Or a real guy named Heywood James who lied about his employer? Or just someone who made up a bunch of stuff for the hell of it? (By the way, the snapping branch was a great touch.)

This could become a case study in the perils of "open-source reporting," since the Globe had a Contact-us-if-you're-telecommuting message posted at during the storm. I'm still trying to get a fuller explanation from the Globe; if I do, I'll update this post.

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