Disgruntled ex-athletic director used AI to generate fake racist rant in principal's voice: police

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Friday, April 26, 2024
Ex-employee used AI to create racist rant in principal's voice: police
Ex-employee used AI to create racist rant in principal's voice: police

BALTIMORE COUNTY, Maryland -- Baltimore County police said a disgruntled ex-athletics director used AI to frame his high school's principal by generating a fake recording of racist rant in his voice.

Police Chief Robert McCullough said his department worked with the FBI and forensic experts from the University of California at Berkeley to investigate the recording that was originally circulated on social media in January 2024.

The audio recording purported to capture Pikesville High School principal Eric Eiswert "spewing racial and antisemitic insults about staff and students," WMAR-TV reported.

McCullough announced Thursday that their investigation found that "Dazhon Darien, the school's athletic director, produced the recording to retaliate against Principal Eiswert, who had initiated a probe into the mishandling of school funds."

Darien was arrested at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport Thursday morning, McCullough said, on an outstanding warrant. He now faces charges that include stalking, disruption of school operations and retaliation against a witness. He is currently in custody and being held on $5,000 bond.

WMAL reported that Eiswert and Darien started having problems after Darien became athletics director in July 2023 and terminated a long-standing coach without Eiswert's approval. WMAL reported Darien was also the subject of a potential threat investigation initiated by Eiswert after he authorized a $1,916 payment to his roommate and Pikesville High School junior varsity basketball coach while claiming that she was acting as an assistant soccer coach for the girls soccer team even though that coach had never assisted during the soccer season. In court documents, it's alleged he submitted the payment by bypassing proper procedures.