Barrett, wife blame son

Police reports made public Monday showed that both former state Rep. Matt Barrett and his wife blamed their oldest son, then 12, for pornographic images on a thumb drive Barrett used in a talk at Norwalk High School in October. Barrett, 41, resigned at the request of Democratic officials after state Highway Patrol officers concluded Barrett lied when he blamed his son for pictures the representative was responsible for putting on the thumb drive.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 25, 2010


Police reports made public Monday showed that both former state Rep. Matt Barrett and his wife blamed their oldest son, then 12, for pornographic images on a thumb drive Barrett used in a talk at Norwalk High School in October.

Barrett, 41, resigned at the request of Democratic officials after state Highway Patrol officers concluded Barrett lied when he blamed his son for pictures the representative was responsible for putting on the thumb drive.

The pictures were shown for a few seconds when Barrett was speaking to a class at Norwalk High. When Barrett realized the pornographic pictures were on the PowerPoint he was using, he stopped the presentation and just spoke to the class.

In his original statement to state Highway Patrol officials, Barrett said the PowerPoint had been developed by the National Conference of State Legislators and "had been tailored with my name and contact information, but otherwise unchanged."

Derek Pigman, the teacher who had invited Barrett to speak to his classes to explain the legislative process, did not see the pictures because he was walking to the back of the classroom when they were displayed.

"I did not find out until two class periods later what had happened behind my back when the principal called me out of my class to inform me," Pigman wrote in his statement about the incident. "During this time, Mr. Barrett informed me he had contacted his office to try to figure out what had happened."

When Barrett spoke to Norwalk police on the day of the incident, he originally refused to let police record the interview, but later relented and allowed police to make a recording.

Barrett told police his son may have put the pornographic pictures on the thumb drive or someone in his state office might be responsible. Barrett also said someone might be trying to sabotage him.

Barrett later said in the recorded interview that he didn't have any reason to believe "anybody would try to sabotage me."

Barrett also told police he thought Pigman had seen the pictures and wasn't trying to avoid the issue when he stopped the PowerPoint.

"I think it was a miscommunication, Barrett said. "I was thinking, I was shocked and thought the whole world saw this. I was thinking he had seen it too."

When Wendy Barrett spoke to police, she said she was confident her husband had nothing to do with the pornographic pictures. She told police her son admitted to her that he had looked at pictures of naked women and she had caught him doing so.

Barrett's son spoke to Norwalk police in the presence of his parents and said he was responsible for downloading the photos, but his father refused to let him say what Web site he had used to find the pictures.

Barrett told Highway Patrol officers he had never seen the pictures before. Officers later discovered he had set up an account in 2003 in the name of "John Doe" that was registered through his law office and two women had sent pictures taken from camera phones to that e-mail and to his office in Columbus.

Both women identified in the photos said Barrett asked them to send nude pictures to his e-mail accounts.

Norwalk police traveled to Amherst, Barrett's hometown, to interview one of the women. She said she had met Barrett through mutual friends and had sent nude pictures to him a couple of years before. She also sent pictures to an e-mail account he had in Columbus.

The woman said it originally started as a joke and she had called Barrett after she was informed police were waiting to interview her. She said Barrett told her he had no idea why police wanted to talk to her.

The other woman in the photos came to Norwalk to speak with police. She told police she had helped Barrett on his campaign and said they had a relationship until she met her current husband. She said she was going through a divorce when she first met Barrett and he was a "very smooth-talking person."

She also told police she "found it disgusting" that Barrett blamed the pictures on his young son. Police asked her to make a phone call to Barrett and allow police to record it, but Barrett did not answer his phone when she attempted three phone calls.

When Norwalk police attempted to question Barrett after meeting with the two women identified in the photos, he "seemed flustered at the call. He stuttered and stammered about having a busy schedule this week," the report said.

After that call, Barrett had an attorney representing him contact police.

Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler referred potential charges to the Erie County prosecutor, but an assistant prosecutor there said no felony had been committed and Barrett could only be charged with potential misdemeanors of obstructing official business or falsification. That office later decided to press no charges against the former legislator.



Way to be a PARENT!!!
Let your KIDS take YOUR SHAME!!!!


OKAY.....MY BAD.....
I meant to say SHAME but forgot my "E"

Richard Cranium

I don't know if any of you saw it, but the Reflector did a story just minutes prior to this story and it had the woman's photo on it, the same way she was posed in his camera. It was probably one of the most tasteless thing...even for the Reflector. They must have taken it down.


When I went to school, I thought about becoming a lawyer. But then I decided to do something honest with my life.


My2cents I saw it and they should be ashamed of themselves!! To bad you didn't buy the photo before they took it down!! It had a spot next to it that said buy photo just like Mr. Barrett's has next to it now. So maybe the Reflector employee that put that photo of the lady up on the website should be brought up on charges for trying to sell p**n..

Richard Cranium

I honestly thought I saw some ni**ple in the photo. I about fell out of my chair. That poor woman. She sent that to Barrett thinking it would be private between two people. The Reflector should have that employee's a** for doing something like that. How tasteless. Thanks, I thought I was going crazy when I saw that pic and then it was gone.

David Deerest.

Yow!!! And she's not all that either! Geeze, if you're going to give up a political career for a chick, at least make sure the chick is hot. She's fugly.


my2cents That is not the same picture that was up there earlier? I can't beleive that they are allowing them to have those photos up on the website; I wonder where did they get those photos from the Norwalk Police Department?

Richard Cranium

No this isn't the same picture. The other picture had a woman on it holding up her br**sts for the camera.


How do you know when a lawyer is lying? When their lips are moving.


Damn, could you ask for any better of a story.....this gift just keeps on giving. Terry Boose should be thanking the gods for this Just wait till we hear the top 10 about him on Letterman.


C'mon, everyone in town (heck, the entire congressional district) has been wondering about that picture and wanted to see it. Maybe you didn't want to look, but you couldn't help it.

The picture was central to this incident and was part of the evidence, so it's public information. The Reflector didn't put it up gratuitously, it was the same as any evidence in any investigation/trial. And I still don't understand how this guy is getting off the hook for any additional charges.

I couldn't find the exact quote, but didn't some judge say something like "I may not know the definition of pornography, but I know it when I see it." ?

I did find one quote: "PORNOGRAPHY is literature designed to be read with one hand." - Angela Lambert


Top 10 Reasons Not to Ask Women to e-mail You Nude Photos of Themselves:
10. High school students might see them during my power point presentation -- like they haven't seen any nudity before.
9. Some guy in Bellevue might get ahold of them and that would make his picnic table jealous.
8. The Norwalk Police don't have time to investigate them because softball season has started at Baines Park.
7. You'll get tired of people asking "Is that a jump drive in your pocket, or are you just happy to get nude photos of women e-mailed to you." ?
6. The Norwalk Reflector might put them on their website.
5. If you don't have a camera with at least 5 Megapixels, don't even bother with nude photos.
4. The screen resolution on my computer was set so high, I couldn't tell the difference between the file named "How Government Works" and the one named "Naked Pictures of Women I May Have Fooled Around With".
3. If I've got four jump drives, I'm probably dumb enough to put the pictures on all of them.
2. If you've seen one, you've seen 'em both.
1. If God had wanted us to pose naked for State Representatives, He wouldn't have invented clothing.

David Deerest.

Richard, are you sure you're not some famous writer?
I hope your talent isn't being wasted-you're brilliant!
(yeah, we're bonding...)


What did the kid do to the parents that they would accuse him?

Hey kid! Listen up. This situation is perfectly made for extortion.

Demand an iPod, a new Xbox with tons of games and upon graduation - a new car.

Good luck!


Contango - We now have a Top 11 List:
11. Your kid will blackmail you when you blame downloading the nude photos on him.

Deer Dave - Thanks for the compliment and the further bonding, NOT THAT THERE'S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT.

I don't write professionally, kind of like Bob Newhart's mom told him when he was the Chicago psycologist: "You never kept up with your cartooning, did you, sonny?" I do enjoy getting an opinion out there now and then. I guess it's like Rush Limbaugh says -- demonstrating absurdity by being absurd.

Seriously, I'm still having a heck of a time figuring out why he wasn't charged with anything. It didn't matter if it was by accident, it didn't matter who downloaded it, it doesn't matter what was said when police interviewed the two photographees (which sounds like they did it pretty gratuitously) and it doesn't matter that he lied about it. He did it and it is what he should be charged with. He could have his day in court and if it had been accidental, either found not guilty or given a probationary sentence.

Something got turned around here because he won't be charged and we don't know what it was. Has he been let off the hook because, "gee whiz, he's already lost his job and that's punishment enough ?"


Richard: Kid's an adult daughter and I learned long ago to keep my strong libido in check.

Shoulda quit at #10 when they were kinda funny.

"Dying is easy, comedy is hard" - George Bernard Shaw (last words)

Except for pure entertainment value, I say: Why waste more taxpayer money on yet another unethical politician?

Richard Cranium

You know, with all these hilarious comments, lists and bonding going on, the only thing I see that is missing is an ignorant comment from swiss... kinda makes me sad


" Richard, are you sure you're not some famous writer?"

"I do enjoy getting an opinion out there now and then. I guess it's like Rush Limbaugh says -- demonstrating absurdity by being absurd."

If you're quoting Rush Limbaugh you're not a writer, let alone a good one. You Norwalk people crack me up.

Andrew Ba

Another of our elected officials that think that they are above the law, special, Look at our attorney general, discusting

David Deerest.

Hey infrared41, if you can't take the heat in the kitchen...

you know the rest...

you infrared people crack ME up.


Why waste ANY money on unethical politicians ?

And wouldn't "unethical politicians" be a tautology (opposite of an oxymoron) ?

Not quoting Rush, just using his same methodology.

Contango - I thought the kid was 12 year-old boy ? Why would an "adult daughter" want an XBox ? You'll have to expand on that comment.


Richard: Mea culpa. My post was largely a case of brain flatulence - scratch it. (Musta been all the thinkin’ about Mex food.)

I can agree with your observation regarding the term being a tautology.

I prefer the qualities of reluctant statesmen like Cincinnatus and George Washington. They were men who stepped forward to aid their country when it was in peril, largely for reasons of altruism not avarice.

As a libertarian (fiscal conservative – social liberal), I tend to adhere to the political ideology that the government that governs least governs best.

swiss family

i do find it to be unfortunate that Mr Barrett showed naked photos to the high school, but i do think that it was a big misunderstanding... i mean, as soon as he realized that these pictures showed up, he immediately pulled the plug on his presentation.. which i applaud... how many teachers, and guidance counselors, and parish priests have deliberately shown these same photos, hoping to stir up their students, and no one says anything????
Mr Barrett is a State Rep.. he is not running to become pope!!! he has flaws and misgivings just like we all do..but at least when one of his mistakes surfaces.. he immediately took it down.. i can't say that about some of our local priests and teachers...
i believe that we, as imperfect, and definately flawed individuals, can't maintain the level of decencies that we wish we possessed.. we somehow demand it from others..and somehow we feel that this makes us, better people


Yeah, right, he didn't mean any harm, he was just having a little fun. He pulled the pictures right away, so he's a fine guy. Then he lied about it, got caught and had to quit his job, so he's certainly been punished enough, let's not charge him with anything.

"Unfortunate" ? I don't think so.

I don't know of any "teachers, and guidance counselors, and parish priests" that have shown anything like this that got away with it. Swiss, just try going to a school with your "Why Cocoa is Good for You" presentation and throw in a picture like this and see if you get the same treatment as Barrett. We'll all be sure to send you a postcard while you're in custody.

Something got turned around here because the law direct says he won't be charged. I think there's more to this that we're not being told about.

swiss family

he was NOT just having a little fun, as you say.. he was working, and getting in touch with his constituents.. like he is supposed to do.. it doesn't matter if they are teens or retiree's it is what he is elected to do.
you also have no proof that he lied about anything.. he said it was his son's doing.. and if it truly was, what do you expect him to do?? lie and say that it isn't?? that would be wrong!! so how is the guy ever going to win with some of you???
you say that you don't know of any "teachers, guidance counselors or parish priests" who have gotten away with showing inappropriate material to their students.. i would suggest that you go back and re read the 3 day report by reflector reporter.. Cary Ashby on the known pedophiles that have gone through St. Paul's school over the years!!! they were not reported until years later when some of the victims joined forces, and got a voice, and talked to others about the abuse!!!
even then, they never served a single day behind bars, even though, they had hundreds of abuse victims!!! so in essence, they got away with their crime!!!and they just weren't showing pictures, they were actually touching the victims!!!
and just one last thing.. the name is "SWISS FAMILY" NOT SWISS MISS"


It is beside the point being discussed here, and has absolutely no parallel to Barrett, but it is unfortunate in the instance of several dioceses and parishes that had pedophiles chose to handle it themselves, rather than take steps with the authorities because crimes were committed, not just church rules broken.

"Barrett told Highway Patrol officers he had never seen the pictures before." That was one of many lies on his part and he did it to impede the investigation.

So, yeah, let him off the hook. No harm - no foul.

Swiss Cocoa Mix, Swiss Family, Swiss Cheese, Swiss... what else is Switzlerland famous for ? It's all the same. You're the one that chose the name. It least everyone doesn't call you "dick" when they disagree with you.

David Deerest.

Perhaps K-Swiss shoe empire??

How I see it

is Swiss has missed the point again. Politicians are lying POS's. Never, ever believe what a politician says. You can only believe in what they do and once they do it you can always look it up and prove it. Whether you believe it or not only proves how smart or stupid you want to be.

Chad Eitle (Ano...

I think we are all getting off track here a bit. It's not about zip drives, showing nudie pics to high school students, unethical politicians, or cover-ups. The point here is exactly as Deer Dave put it ever so bluntly - THAT IS ONE FUGLY WOMAN......