Buford City Schools Superintendent Geye Hamby has been placed on administrative leave amidst a lawsuit and recently-released audio recordings in which a man said to be the superintendent is heard spewing racist rants.
Gregory Jay, of Chandler, Britt and Jay, LLC, the law firm that represents Buford City School District, told the Daily Post via email on Wednesday that Hamby was placed on administrative leave effective Tuesday, Aug. 21.
“The Board anticipates further action on this matter at a specially called meeting in the next several days,” he said. “The District will continue to focus on the mission of empowering our students to reach their full potential.”
Hamby, who has held the position of superintendent since 2006, was recently sued by former paraprofessional educator Mary Ingram for alleged race discrimination and retaliation after she was fired “without any justification,” the lawsuit says.
Included in the lawsuit is a a web link to two audio recordings, in which a man said to be Hamby makes derogatory comments about black construction workers, referring to them by the n-word and saying that he would “kill these (expletive).”
In one of the the recordings, the person presumed to be Hamby is speaking about black temp workers at a construction site, specifically one who “got smart” with a man Hamby knows.
“He said he worked for the temp service and he didn’t have to do what the (expletive) we tell him to do,” the person alleged to be Hamby says. “(Expletive) that (n-word.) I’ll kill these (expletives) – shoot that (expletive) if they let me. Alright. Well, check out what’s going on with all the (n-words) down here. Bye.”
In the second recording, the man who is allegedly Hamby is again speaking about the construction workers, calling them “deadbeat (n-words).”
“Don’t send us a deadbeat (n-word) from a temp service,” the man is heard saying. “Well, look, we’ve got, we’ve got young kids right here that put in the work. They can do more than the (expletive) deadbeat (n-words).”
Though the lawsuit does not say where the recordings came from, when they are from or who the other people heard in the conversations are, nor does it provide any proof that the man in the recordings is, in fact, Hamby, Ingram’s lawyer, Ed Buckley, told the Daily Post on Wednesday that he had an expert review the recordings.
“We feel confident that (the audio) is authentic and we feel confident — we strongly believe — that that is Mr. Hamby,” he said. “(That’s why) we determined to embed the comments in the complaint that we filed in federal district court.”
The recordings have sparked outrage with Buford residents and other community members, some of whom signed a petition for Hamby’s termination, which was created Tuesday evening.
While Jay did not elaborate on what “further action” will be taken at the board meeting, Buford resident Samaria Blow said the administrative leave is a step in the right direction.
“If it’s with pay, I’m not satisfied, but if he really is being punished — meaning no work and no pay — then I’m more than happy,” she said. “He can take that mess somewhere else.”
According to Buford City School District records, Hamby makes an annual salary of $308,000, which is listed in his most recent contract approved by the Buford school board on June 12, 2017.
His current contract officially runs through June 30, 2020.
Return to www.gwinnettdailypost.com for updates to this story.
Daily Post staff writer Trevor McNaboe contributed to this report.