Federal prosecutors have charged Thomas Joseph Barrett, 49, with viewing child pornography. Barrett was arrested Wednesday at his place of work. He is a senior case technician for the Social Security Office of Disability Adjudication and Review, according to a press release issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Seattle.
Barrett immediately was placed on leave from his job.
In November, his employer obtained evidence that Barrett was misusing the Internet during work hours. Investigators reviewed Barrett's online history and examined his computer's hard drive. Authorities say the analysis turned up evidence that Barrett had viewed child pornography using the computer. There also was evidence that Barrett searched news stories reporting on the penalties of possessing and distributing child pornography, according to a press release.
The agency's network and data were never compromised, authorities said.
Barrett was scheduled Wednesday to make his first court appearance in Seattle.
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