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A Department of Juvenile Justice official who was fired over porn says he was set up

TALLAHASSEE — A high-level state juvenile justice official who was fired after pornography was found on his state computer says he was set up by people "trying to ruin my life."

Gus Barreiro, 49, a former state representative from Miami Beach, was fired Jan. 15 from a $72,000-a-year job as chief of residential programs for the Department of Juvenile Justice.

The reason for Barreiro's firing: "improper conduct/computer misuse." But the department did not explain the circumstances that led to his ouster until Wednesday, when the agency released the results of an internal investigation and inspection of Barreiro's computer.

The 13-page report said an examination of the hard drive of Barreiro's state-issued laptop contained "300 to 400" images of adult pornography.

Known as a crusader for children, Barreiro was instrumental in the agency's decision to acknowledge its sordid past of condoning savage beatings of boys at a building known at the White House at the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna in the 1950s and 1960s.

Barreiro cited that work as part of the reason he was fired: "Ever since I introduced those men out to the White House, my life changed with that department," he said. "I was being told I was being set up. No one likes me. I should have heard the warnings. When they asked for my computer, that's when I felt something was up."

"White House had nothing to do with this. The report speaks for itself," said Frank Penela, a department spokesman.

The report said Barreiro brought his laptop to an agency computer systems expert, Nestor Gonzalez, to back up files.

The report, by the department's Inspector General's Office, said that most images were from a user logging on to adultfriendfinder.com as "cubancigar107." Barreiro, a Cuban-American Republican, represented House District 107 from 1998 to 2006.

Confronted with evidence of pornography, Barreiro told investigators: "I don't know how in the hell that got on my computer."

Steve Bousquet can be reached at bousquet@sptimes.com or (850) 224-7263.

A Department of Juvenile Justice official who was fired over porn says he was set up 02/11/09 [Last modified: Thursday, February 12, 2009 7:28am]
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