Letter: 'Poor Judgement' Used in Barrett Case

Richard Barrett, husband of board member Liz Barrett, responds to Bill Motherway's recent letter regarding the alleged misconduct case, which was dismissed on procedural errors.


Richard Barrett is the husband of Liz Barrett, vice president of the Kings Park Board of Education.

To the Editor;

I was extremely disturbed by the letter written by William Motherway. I would like to address the following specific statements that are incorrect and one sided regarding the accusations against my wife Liz Barrett.

1. Statement; “Our school district received a complaint from a community member containing accusations that confidential district information was being shared with people whom were not privy to hear it.”

Response: The complaint was from a third party non credible person named Tricia Johnston regarding dated allegations. Bill was well aware of the fact that Tricia Johnston had a grudge against and has harassed Liz Barrett for over a year. The harassment all started after Tricia Johnston was asked to leave my house when her welcome wore out. She drove away vowing revenge. Stating; “No one throws me out of their home, you will be sorry!”  As far as the accusations of shared confidential information; “Off course Tricia could only hear it from Liz Barrett since everyone else in this town is so tight lipped” (we all know that’s a joke). Also, some people chose not to distinguish between situations that Liz engaged as a concerned family member and not as a board member. 

2. Statement; “Upon the advice of our district's retained counsel, I personally attempted to contact Mrs. Barrett to discuss the complaint. Mrs. Barrett never responded to any of my requests and, instead, chose to retain a private criminal attorney to handle this matter on her behalf.”

Response: Liz Barrett was first notified by Motherway via an email and she called him back within one hour of receipt. Motherway did not return her call.  There are phone records.  Liz had discussions on this matter with the BoE Vice President. They said they sought council already and wanted her to meet on the Sunday morning of my son’s Communion. At that point she felt threatened and decided to seek counsel from an Education attorney not a Criminal attorney.  Any practicing lawyer should know the difference.

3.     Statement; “Special Counsel thoroughly investigated this matter and upon the conclusion of their investigation, recommended to the Board to refer this matter to the Commissioner of Education for his review, which we did.”

Response:  Bill you followed the advice from the same “Crackerjack” counsel that could not follow simple filing guidelines and did not file under the correct language of the law.

4. Statement; “As a life-long Kings Parker, an attorney, and someone who has given a great deal to our town, I have an incredible amount of respect for anyone that chooses to run for the Board of Education. It is a mostly thankless job, and the challenges are enormous.”

Response: Bill as a life-long Kings Parker you should of considered the sources of these accusations and given the respect for a fellow BoE member that they deserve. If so, you would not have been so aggressive pursuing counsel for an alleged matter that supposedly happened more than a year ago. One can only assume you had alternative motive. 

Bill once again you showed poor judgment not only in your belief that Liz Barrett indeed did what was alleged and by your handing of the accusations as the president of the BoE.

Liz has responded to all accusations formally to the Commissioner with corresponding affidavits.  I am sorry her case was not viewed in its entirety. 

Liz Barrett is innocent, let’s stop the nonsense and move on!


Richard Barrett

kpresident October 26, 2012 at 01:48 AM
How sad this town has become! Adults acting like high school kids. What a great example for our children. I cant believe that the board would act on allegations from a person that obviously has issues. It is too bad that Mrs. Barrett can't personally sue the board members, school district and accuser for slander. Shame on you. Look at the comments of other towns issues. You look like a bunch of morons! The environment in this town has become so negative. Please end the reign of Susan Agruso it was not like this before she rode into town!
Maria Cirilli October 26, 2012 at 02:58 AM
I am very disappointed in the way that Mrs. Barrett and her family have been treated. While I know that no one is perfect, Mrs. Barrett is definitely not the evil, sinister person that is being depicted. I know that Liz is the wife of a person who volunteers to coach boys lacrosse. I also know that Liz is the working mother of 3 kind, productive children. I know that she volunteers to teach religion to third graders at St. Joseph's Church. I also appreciate that Liz ran for the board to serve her community. I can only imagine what a thankless job it can be at times, as Mr. Motherway stated, and I wonder how many countless hours she has taken from her own children to help all of ours. I am sure that when she decided to run for the board, Mrs. Barrett didn't expect to be in Newsday embroiled in a scandal. I don't know exactly what was supposedly said that created all of this mess, but I don't understand why these accusations aren't coming from the aggrieved family directly. I just hope our community can move past all of this and work together for the benefit of our children.
Annmarie Delmonte October 26, 2012 at 11:49 AM
We should have been able to move on. As long as we agree that it doesn’t matter if Mrs Barrett violated confidentiality to a family member or about a family member. I guess Mr. Barrett is suggesting or pretending that this is just about some family member of yours. You know this is a lie. This is the reason that we worry about the moral code of our elected leaders. What about the employees and the multiple children whose confidential information was disclosed. I know of some of the accusations from a neighbor of mine who is not Tricia Johnson but was still grateful that someone said something. Why my neighbor did not and would not come forward was to protect their own child from being added to this post or this mess. Why Ms. Cirilli thinks the parent of a child should publish their private pain is astounding to me. This is the reason they asked the school district for help. Because it is confidential and because the district can and did help. I don’t think anyone is suggesting that Mrs. Barrett is sinister or evil, just that she broke the law. I find Mr. Barrett’s post to be the closest to an actual confession if not a subtle explanation about why and to whom this information was shared. The law is very specific about confidential information. There’s no ambiguity or room for the “I just told my sister” defense.
Jacob Mintzer October 26, 2012 at 12:13 PM
Nobody should take the word of Tricia Johnson seriously. The more you go to board meetings, the crazier you can tell she is, and this is a shame, since all her kids are so nice. She is like a high school girl that gossips just to create drama. She needs to start acting her age.
bbaro October 26, 2012 at 12:50 PM
Great letter, we all know the real puppet master in all of this and the reason said person decided not to run for re-election to the board. Be gone all you crazy people from this great town begone and never come back. You cause more harm in this community then good.
Brian M Clancy October 26, 2012 at 01:48 PM
This was a political payback for Ms. Barrett's having opposed the "ramming through" of the Superintendent's contract extension last year. Plain and simple. Only two board members stood up for the KP community, Steve Weber and Liz Barrett. Now one is gone from the board and the other is facing legal fees for a petty charge that never should have been taken seriously by the board. KPCSD should be held responsible for Ms. Barrett's legal fees..
kper October 26, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Annmarie again u heard from a neighbor whom I assume was not the family that these allegations are regarding so I must say we should not listen to the " you will never believe what I just heard" gossipers. If it did not directly involve that person no one should be discussing anything end if story !!!
CorruptKP October 27, 2012 at 01:01 AM
The school district is becoming a disgrace. "The complaint was from a third party non credible person named Tricia Johnston regarding dated allegations. Bill was well aware of the fact that Tricia Johnston had a grudge against and has harassed Liz Barrett for over a year".. Is this the real issue? We are worrying about hearsay? Listen up people:::: This country is going to pot. We have out of control spending, high unemployment, crazy gas prices, entitlement handouts and all we can do is go go after Liz with a dam lawsuit? What is next? Jerry Spinger? Blah Blah Blah
tricia swisher October 27, 2012 at 03:32 AM
Heh is obviously Tricia Dwyer-Johnson... How many bottles of wine tonight??
kper October 27, 2012 at 06:22 AM
def TDJ just under yet another name....please why don't you just write it all out the allegations of misconduct and WHATEVER ELSE YOU MAY WANT TO GOSSP ABOUT and save us the energy of actually dialing your number
Daniel Tobias October 27, 2012 at 07:40 PM
IT'S OVER, we all lost. TDJ (Heh)lost, Liz Barrett lost, the KP BOE lost, and all of us because we won't let it die. As I stated in the beginning, IT'S OVER!!! MOVE FORWARD..........PLEASE!
kper October 28, 2012 at 04:12 AM
HEY HEH get your facts straight my name is Kelli and yes we think alike because we are right sorry to disappoint you
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