A Georgia superintendent has been placed on administrative leave after a recent lawsuit alleged that he used racist slurs, threatening to kill Black people in a recording, reports say.
Buford City Schools superintendent Geye Hamby has come under fire after being named in a race-discrimination lawsuit, in which he is accused of using racist slurs in an audio recording, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In the recording, he allegedly directed his anger toward a group of Black workers at a construction site, according to the complaint obtained by PEOPLE.
“F— that n—-. I kill these goddamn — shoot that motherf—– if they let me,” Hamby allegedly said in a conversation with an unidentified man, as heard in the recording. “Don’t send us a deadbeat n—- from a temp service.”
The complaint, filed in June in U.S. District Court in Atlanta, includes the audio recording. And school board officials told the Journal-Constitution that the board planned to discuss the matter. Meanwhile, Walt Britt, an attorney representing the board, told the publication that the board has been “unable to determine its veracity and authenticity and whether the recording was altered and was at the consent of at least one party or the product of illegal surveillance.”
Britt did not immediately respond to a request for comment from PEOPLE.
The complaint does not say when Hamby allegedly made the remarks or with whom he was speaking, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It also does not specify how the recordings were obtained.
The lawsuit was filed by 66-year-old Mary Ingram, who worked for the district as a paraprofessional for nearly 20 years before she was fired in 2017, according to the complaint. She began receiving criticism in her evaluations after she started a petition for the school to include the color gold (a nod to the city’s previously Black school district) along with the green and white in the school’s emblem, according the complaint.
After pushing for the change, Ingram was fired in June 2017. The suit alleges that in her termination letter, officials wrote that she was “perceived as being disrespectful, argumentative and unfriendly and not a good fit in a school environment,” the Journal-Constitution reported.
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Ingram told the publication that she was devastated and shocked by the firing and, once she heard the audio recording, she knew she needed to take action.
Ingram’s attorney, Edward Buckley, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from PEOPLE.
Now, members of the community say Hamby should resign or be fired from his position as a result of the allegations. Penny Poole, president of the NAACP’s Gwinnett County chapter, said the board should fire Hamby if it is confirmed that he used the racist language.
“It’s the only right thing to do,” Poole said.