School Administrator Charged In Hate Crime

Tuesday, October 23rd 2007, 5:43 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- An administrator at an Oklahoma City-area school district faces up to one year in prison if convicted of assaulting two students in what prosecutors say was a racially motivated attack.

Richard Dale Thomas, transportation director at Crooked Oak Public Schools, was charged Tuesday with two misdemeanor counts of harassment because of race.

In addition, Superintendent Shannon Lee Goodsell, 38, was charged with obstructing an officer for allegedly interfering with an investigation by the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Department into an assault allegation against Thomas.

The investigation began Sept. 11 after a 19-year-old Crooked Oak student reported he had been pushed and threatened by Thomas, according to court papers.

Investigators learned that Thomas, 33, has a history of using racial slurs and trying to pick fights with black students,authorities said.

The Crooked Oak officials are expected to surrender Wednesday and appear in Oklahoma County District Court on the charges, prosecutors said. Thomas faces up to a year in prison because of the racial overtones alleged by prosecutors.