Baltimore School's Ex-Athletic Director Made AI-Generated Recording of School's Principal Being Racist As Revenge Over Fraud Investigation Against Him

Dazhon Darien and Eric Eiswert
Dazhon Darien (left) and Eric Eiswert. Facebook

A former high school athletic director has been arrested for creating an AI-generated voice recording to frame the school's principal of making racist remarks, Baltimore County Police said on Thursday, April 25.

At a press conference Thursday, Baltimore County Chief of Police Robert McCollough said Dazhon Darien, 31, was arrested earlier this morning while trying to board a flight with a firearm.

Darien was Taken into Custody After Cops Found Active Warrant for His Arrest

After Darien was stopped by officers with the Maryland Transportation Authority, authorities soon found he had an active warrant out for his arrest and took him into custody.

The former school athletic director has been charged with disrupting school activities, theft, retaliating against a witness, and stalking, McCollough said. The former Pikesville High School athletic director is being held on a $5,000 bond.

Darien Leaked the Recording on Social Media, Leading to an Investigation Against the Principal

Authorities allege that Darien had programmed Principal Eric Eiswert's voice to say anti-semitic remarks in an audio clip he later spread on social media. As previously reported, the recording went viral, prompting an investigation against Eiswert. which led to Eiswert stepping away from his duties as principal amid fierce backlash at the school and within the local community.

"The audio clip ... had profound repercussions," the police's charging documents read, according to the outlet. "It not only led to Eiswert's temporary removal from the school but also triggered a wave of hate-filled messages on social media and numerous calls to the school. The recording also caused significant disruptions for the PHS staff and students."

Forensic Experts Confirmed Recording was AI-Generated, Darien Used School Computers to Search for AI Technology

McCollough said Thursday that investigators found "conclusive evidence that the recording was not authentic" and that two forensic analysts found the recording was generated through the use of artificial intelligence. Darien allegedly used school computers to search for the AI audio technology, McCollough added.

Investigators also said they also tied Darien to an email connected to the social media account that initially shared the AI-generated audio clip.

Darien Acted in Retaliation to Eiswert's Investigation Against Him for Misusing School Funds

McCollough told reporters that police believe Darien leaked the fake audio "to retaliate" against Eiswert, who placed Darien under investigation earlier this year for allegedly mishandling school finances. Darien was accused of issuing a nearly $2,000 payment to the school's junior varsity basketball coach, who is also his roommate.

Darien allegedly bypassed typical payroll procedures to approve the payment, which was made out to the coach for also serving as an assistant girl's soccer coach. However, the individual was reportedly not an assistant coach for the team.

Related topics : Artificial intelligence