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Dallas School Official Suspended over Taped Racial Epithets

May 24, 1996

DALLAS (AP) _ An assistant superintendent was suspended Thursday after he was identified as the other participant in a conversation in which a former school board member used racial slurs and vulgar language.

In an affidavit filed in an invasion-of-privacy lawsuit against the alternative weekly Dallas Observer, Dan Peavy identified Joel Pittman as the other person on the phone in the secretly recorded conversation.

The tape includes racial epithets and sexist and other derogatory references to colleagues, parents and school employees. The voice alleged to be Pittman’s is heard agreeing with Peavy’s derisive comments about other school board members.

No one answered the telephone at Pittman’s home Thursday. Pittman told Dallas TV station WFAA that he wouldn’t make any comment about the Peavy tapes.

The school district stressed that it has not received word from law enforcement agencies confirming the information in the lawsuit about the voices on the tape.

Pittman was placed on administrative leave pending ``an evaluation of those documents and any other evidence contained in that lawsuit involving allegations of misconduct.″

Peavy resigned shortly after a transcript of his private conversation was read at a Sept. 28 board meeting. Peavey has said he suspected illegal wiretaps of his home phone.

He was indicted and pleaded innocent last month to charges that he received $459,000 in bribes to help a business partner make insurance sales to the school district.

Pittman is one of six Dallas school district assistant superintendents. He oversees 44 schools attended by 25,000 students.

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