PowerPoint to porn: Rep. is shocked

All State Rep. Matt Barrett was trying to do was explain to a group of Norwalk High School seniors how a bill becomes law. When the image from the PowerPoint presentation popped up, Barrett could not believe his eyes; the image of a naked woman had appeared on the screen. He quickly unplugged the system. "It took a second to realize 'Wow what's going on here,'" Barrett said. "I immediately apologized."
Cary Ashby
Jul 25, 2010

All State Rep. Matt Barrett was trying to do was explain to a group of Norwalk High School seniors how a bill becomes law.

When the image from the PowerPoint presentation popped up, Barrett could not believe his eyes; the image of a naked woman had appeared on the screen. He quickly unplugged the system.

"It took a second to realize 'Wow what's going on here,'" Barrett said. "I immediately apologized."

Barrett, a Democrat who covers the 58th district, which includes all of Huron County, didn't stop there.

School officials called the Norwalk Police Department, which notified the state Highway Patrol because Barrett is a state representative. Barrett said he voluntarily handed the computer over to troopers, who are sending it to Columbus to determine what might have happened.

Barrett stressed nobody was subpoenaed and no warrants were issued. He said he voluntarily handed over the computer because he wanted to find out what happened.

"We're trying to do everything to try to get this wrapped up," Barrett said, calling the image "totally inappropriate."

Principal Bob Duncan described Barrett as apologetic and embarrassed about the incident. Duncan called the incident regrettable and unfortunate.

"I think he was as surprised, if not more (so), than the students. He was extremely embarrassed," Duncan said. "Mr. Barrett was extremely cooperative in (this) matter."

Duncan and Norwalk City Schools Superintendent Wayne Babcanec said Barrett didn't check the thumb drive, obtained through a state agency, before Tuesday morning's incident.

Barrett said he has given a similar presentation about a bill becoming law about 30 times, but this was the first time he did it as a PowerPoint. He saw the equipment for a PowerPoint was available in the classroom, so he decided to use it.

First, he placed the thumb drive into his laptop, but the screen went blank. Barrett said the same thing happened when he hooked his laptop to the school's projector. Finally, he tried the teacher's laptop.

"And then the very inappropriate image displayed," Barrett said.

The state lawmaker said he got the thumb drive from a state library liaison, who gave an identical one to his legislative aide, Jennifer Koperdak. Barrett believes Koperdak had nothing to do with the inappropriate image.

"I would be shocked (if she did). I'm confident that she doesn't have anything to do with this," he said.

Babcanec spoke to Barrett after he finished his presentation to Derek Pigman's three senior social studies classes without the use of the computer. The state lawmaker used the papers he brought him that were to be supplemented by the PowerPoint.

"My daughter was in the class," Duncan said. "She felt very bad for Mr. Barrett. She thought it was unintentional.

"I heard it was very quiet," the principal said about students' reactions to the image. "Some kids didn't even see it."

Duncan said his daughter was more concerned about Barrett being embarrassed than the three seconds the picture was on the screen.

After the incident, Duncan contacted a majority of the parents. "Some of them are returning my calls, because they were working (Tuesday)," he added.

Babcanec said it was important to contact parents as soon as possible, so they could hear about the incident from school officials instead of through the media.

"Most of the parents have been appreciate of being contacted," he added.

The superintendent called it imperative to have future guest speakers' information previewed before they do a presentation. He said that process now will be more difficult because teachers earlier only had to review paper materials.

"We'll be looking at flash drives and computer discs," Babcanec said, saying Barrett has been cooperative with the school and police since the incident.

"I haven't heard anything from the authorities. Once they got involved, they took over the investigation," Babcanec said.

The memory stick, along with a school computer used Tuesday, were taken into custody and were being examined, said patrol spokesman Lt. Tony Bradshaw.

Barrett said authorities inspected his computer, the teacher's and took statement from most of class members. He said he's "very concerned" about what happened.

Comments

one man's accid...

is another man's arson.

JEF (Anonymous)

Good thing that Rep. Barrett is a Democrat as they tend to get a pass when sexual 'faux pas' are involved. Had he been a Republican, I dare say that the news media would not have been so 'forgiving.'

swiss family ...

to"JEF" this is not about which party anyone belongs to,and i hope that you are not saying that having a naked picture show up on a computer,is the same as making sexual advancements toward pages.or trying to make sexual contact with an undercover police officer in the restroom.those actions are deliberate,and certainly against the moral conduct that they are supposed to be governed by,whereas, a naked picture turning up on a computer is a complete accident,and is in no yay,on the same scale as the other offenses. so you see, this isn't about party affiliation at all,it is about accountability and most importantly, about intent

Spinderella (An...

JEF is right on the money with his comment. You can bet your weekly welfare check on that, swiss family. I believe he proved his point when you brought up all the skinny on the 'sexual misconducts' that were in the news recently.

hey swiss famil...

didn't I read on here where you said JEF was a cop and you saw his picture in the paper, etc?

I call BS (Anon...

He is an elected official. He should know better and review his material prior to presenting it. It makes me wonder what kind of attention to detail and diligence he applies in his position. He was quick to cast blame during his campaign and now he'll pass the blame to his child. Weak, very weak

gas guzzler (An...

thank you to the gentleman who wrote the editorial in the reflector,questioning why the price of gasoline was so much higher in Norwalk, than in any of the surrounding area. I am glad that this is coming to the attention of the Norwalk gas patrons. i hope that everyone will buy their gas outside of Norwalk, to show the gas station owners, that we can and we will go elsewhere,until you lower your prices to a more competative range

milk guzzler (A...

thank you to the gentleman who wrote the editorial in the reflector,questioning why the price of milk was so much higher in Norwalk, than in any of the surrounding area. I am glad that this is coming to the attention of the Norwalk milk patrons. i hope that everyone will buy their milk outside of Norwalk, to show the milk station owners, that we can and we will go elsewhere,until you lower your prices to a more competative range

re: I call B.S....

he's a democrat...need I say more?

JEF (Anonymous)

If Rep. Barrett were a teacher or a common citizen would he and his family soon be receiving a home visit from a govt. family services professional? Is there a double standard in effect? Call me cynical, but a warning bell goes off when a politician or a scam artist utters, 'Trust me.' Perhaps the occurance was a 'Freudian slip?' Nah! Let's just trust him.

I call BS (Anon...

He certainly hasn't shown he can be trusted. What if his child was in the classroom? I'm sure he would want someone's head on a stake.

JEF (Anonymous)

According to Rep. Barrett, he has an underage child at home that downloads sexually explicit material. When will Public Children Services Agency look into and gather the actual facts regarding the origins of the situation? I dare say that if he were a teacher (and he was acting in that very capacity at the time), there would be a serious investigation, not an 'Oops, trust me' whitewash.

pi4life (Anonymous)

Do you think childrens services will do anything? Come on people, they can't even control their own people let alone look after other people. I think that whole department, Child Support, Family Services and whatever they are calling themselves these days is a total waist of taxpayers money. Especially when you have personell talking classified information with people who don't need to know. Somebody needs to square those clerks away in the child support section. Their standard operationg procedures need to be reevaluted and different protocols need to be set. Does everyone here know that anyone in any of those agencies can type your ssn into a computer and they can find out your whole life history. You have people there doing that just because they want to find out personal information on people. There not doing it because they are working on a case. There doing for their own benefit, not to benefit someone who actually needs help. Like i said before someone of authority needs to look at the system and different protocols need to be set. And access to personal information needs to be limited to individual cases that have been filed. They shouldn't be able to or be aloud to just type someones ssn into their computer and have access to all of that information.

HIS KID DOWNLOA...

I call BS wrote on Oct 12, 2007 10:24 AM:

" He certainly hasn't shown he can be trusted. What if his child was in the classroom? I'm sure he would want someone's head on a stake. "

swiss family......

it surely was a mistake on Mr. Barretts part, which couldn't be helped. but trying to make it a personal family matter, makes me loose alittle respect, and trust in him. i think that all political servants need to be open and honest about their lives, both personal, and private, to the people who elected them to represent them

shut up swiss g...

you're a tool.

jiggsy (Anonymous)

It sounds to me like this wa an unfortunate and regrettable mistake that happened and by the way some of these people are reacting to it is a bit much. What do you want? His head on a platter? The Rep. has apologized many times over and the authorities believe after questioning and talking to him that this was an unfortunate mistake. Don't make a mountain out of a molehill people! The students don't seem to think it was malicious on his part and were not affected by it, so why should you?

to jiggsy (Anon...

I KNOW! THANK YOU!!

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