Matt Wingard: Truth and Consequences

Carla Axtman

[Update: 8:30AM: Dave Hogan at the Oregonian has the story. Stacy Pico, the mother of the child in question, stands by the court documents she's filed, despite Wingard's contention that her allegations are untrue. While Pico supports Wingard's run for the Oregon House, she does say, ""I'm not going to support him if he's going to lie about it,"]

[Update II
: 10:15AM: After some consideration, I've decided to pull down the documents showing the child's medical records. Having my own kids--I'd be pretty uncomfortable seeing their med records on a blog, even if their name was redacted--CA]

Having followed the saga of House District 26 candidate Matt Wingard's (R-Wilsonville) coronation appointment to his seat--I decided that it would be a good idea to find out more about him. From my vantage point in the seats at the coronation appointment hearing, it looked an awful lot like a sham process. So I figured it was worthwhile to delve into Mr. Wingard's background and read up on him.

I'd planned to write this last week, but the number of documents to read through and the scanning/redacting was too time consuming to get it finished prior to Friday. So that's the reason for the timing.

One of the more startling and controversial issues surrounding Mr. Wingard's appointment is his 2001 2002 conviction for assault in the fourth degree for hitting his son in the head with a screwdriver. This weekend, KATU news interviewed Wingard about a FuturePAC mailer that went out against him, highlighting his conviction.

Here's what Wingard says in the KATU taped interview:

Wingard: My son and I were just messing around. I thumped him on the head, something I regretted doing at the time.

Interviewer: In January, he wrote a letter admitting he hit his son on the head and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault.

Interviewer: (To Wingard) Were you angry, frustrated at the time?

Wingard: No. No.

Interviewer: Why did you hit him on the head?

Wingard: It was just a dumb mistake.

Int: What were you thinking at the time?

Wingard: I wasn't. I mean I think when you make a dumb mistake like that you aren't thinking.

This accounting by Wingard doesn't square with what he told the Oregonian in January:

Wingard said that in 2001, when his son was 7, he hit his son on the head in a moment of anger. He declined to provide details, other than to say it left a bump on his son's head. He said that criminal charges were filed against him and he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor. He said he believed it was an assault charge.

Its my understanding that this conviction, as well as reading other documents (likely some of which I'm providing here) led to GOP House Minority Leader Bruce Hanna to withdraw support from Wingard.

I've collected and scanned what I believe are some relevant court documents pertinent to this issue. I'm placing them here to give readers the opportunity for context and to decide for themselves. I have redacted the child's name. I have also redacted personal address information for Mr. Wingard and the child's mother for privacy purposes. I've combed through this stuff pretty carefully in an effort to keep their private contact information out of the public.

Documents after the jump.

This is the original indictment on the 2001 screwdriver incident. Wingard was indicted for Criminal Mistreatment in the First Degree (Class C Felony), Assault in the Third Degree (Class C Felony) and Harassment (Class B Misdemeanor). If you click on the document, you get a brief description of the charge.


Here is the documentation showing Wingard pleading to the lesser charge of Assault in the Fourth Degree:

Three years later in 2004, Wingard petitioned the court to have his parenting rights to the child restored:


Wingard says that he "knocked XXXX on top of his head with a handle of a screwdriver when he was misbehaving. I immediately knew that this was wrong, that it hurt him, and that I should not have done it."

This seems to me like a bit more than just "messing around", as Wingard tells KATU.

The mother responded to Wingard's petition in the affirmative, agreeing that the temporary order removing Wingard's parenting rights should be set aside. However, she doesn't apparently agree with the parenting plan Wingard wants, and ticks off a list of reasons:


Besides the screwdriver incident, the mother alleges:

*When the young child refused to eat, Wingard held him down and force fed him until he vomited.
*The child is afraid of the dark. Wingard locked the child in a dark stairwell and told him he would not be let out until he overcame his fear of the dark.
*Wingard attempted to stop the child from crying by holding him tightly to the point of bruising the child's chest.
*Wingard slapped the child during play, leaving fingerprints and bruises.
*Wingard left the child alone on a strange playground at the age of 7.
*Wingard took the 7 year old on a two-day, 18 mile hike, walking fast and at times leaving the child behind and not allowing for rest.
*Wingard's 2004 affadavit states that he pled guilty to harassment when in fact it was Assault IV, a completely different and more substantial charge.

The mother goes on to say that the child has serious anger and violence issues, and in a residential treatment facility in Portland.

Normally this might be considered a "he said, she said" situation, but the mother does supply doctor's documentation from the child's pediatric records detailing several years of history:

(Medical records pulled)

So..decide for yourself.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)

    Well, I don't now about the other parents here, but I just can't figure out why anyone would object to using a screwdriver to discipline one's child. I mean, isn't that normal? Now, a hacksaw might be a problem, but a screwdriver? Get over your phony outrage.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)

    Sorry, "now" in my first sentence should obviously be "know" :-)

  • fded (unverified)

    Wow, this is really disturbing. He really should not be a State Rep., I hope the people of District 26, when actually given a choice, will give Wingard the boot.

    Carla, great work. And you've appropriately redacted the child's name from the documents you posted. Unfortunately, it seems that Matt Wingard doesn't have the same restraint in using his child for political ends. Poor kid.

  • Ugh (unverified)

    He obviously still has little regard for his own child'S well being. It is obvious he has put his own legislative aspirations above helping his child through this situation. He couldn't possibly have thought his CRIMINAL CONVICTION wouldn't be raised in his quest for elective office. So, I ask you fair residents of HD 26, if this is how lowly he reagrds his only born son, where will that leave you as his constituents? I am no shrink, but it seems megalomanical to me.

  • Jonathan Radmacher (unverified)

    Caption contest for that photo on his website??...

  • (Show?)

    "When you're a screwdriver, every child's head looks like a screw."

  • anonymous (unverified)

    you missed the kid's name in the first page, last paragraph. probably should go back and black it out too.

  • Ih8Torrid thief (unverified)

    Hey Torrid. Posting at 1:39:52 PM on Tuesday, September 23rd. Are you on vacation? That's an odd time for a break for a CITY EMPLOYEE ON THE TAXPAYERS TIME.


  • LiloandStich (unverified)

    Moving forward, we can use divorce court and child custody affidavits against Democrats too, right?

  • Ron Morgan (unverified)

    "Moving forward, we can use divorce court and child custody affidavits against Democrats too, right?"

    Maybe if OR Republicans spent a bit more time vetting their own candidates and less time stealing Obama lawn signs they wouldn't get blind-sided by character issues (actually there must be a link there). But since the pool of Republicans willing to run gets smaller every year, a lot of them chased out by troglodyte wing-nuts like Matt Wingard, I guess they can't be too choosy.

  • (Show?)

    The recent exposure of Matt Wingard's rather sordid episodes with his son comes as a result of a mailer that is a product of Future PAC. The Adamson Campaign IS NOT PUSHING this defect of Wingard's psyche.

    There are two positives that will make the difference for election of Jessica Adamson. First, she's ready on day one. Second, she wants to put good policy above politics and is willing to reach out to those in the legislature who have different perspectives in order to break the stalemate we've seen for decades in the capitol.

    In the weekly phone bank work for Jessica at Washington County Democrats last night, I found that those who inquired about her opponent mentioned the postcard from Future PAC. Some then wondered aloud how such a person could be running for office. But for the most part, I found that most of the people I talked to had never heard of Jessica and were grateful for the phone call and being alerted to the positives about her.

    Those on this blog who are interested in, or live in, House District 26 are encouraged to get out there and talk to the people. The phone bank has vacancies (and the only bailout this bank needs is personal not financial)!

  • c prince (unverified)

    I am surprised that a mother would aid a father in regaining his parenting privileges when she claims he has been so abusive to her child, and it has been backed up by a doctor and a court of Law.

    Such mental and physical abuse should be punishable by law. He belongs in jail, not in the Oregon House of Representatives.

  • Boring John (unverified)

    Please get over yourselves. The D's on this site will do anything or say anything against any Rep. This was a long time ago, everyone has already heard this story, the mother/child/Matt have resolved the issue through time and counseling. You all are hypocrites! Schrader screwing his aid and running for Congress--now there is a story not being told to the masses

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