The deadline for Marlow to file an appeal to the State Board of Education regarding a local ethics violation sanction is Nov. 1.
With the cutoff for Marlow to file an appeal of her Cherokee County School District ethics violation sanction quickly approaching, State Board of Education spokeswoman Dorie Nolt said, as of Oct. 25, the office had “not received an appeal filed by or on the behalf of Kelly Marlow.”
Marlow on Wednesday faces the cutoff for Gov. Nathan Deal to form a panel to look into suspending the school board member after her felony indictment. Sasha Dlugolenski, spokeswoman for Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, said Friday that “there’s a very good chance” that a review panel will be formed Oct. 30, the first day it is legally allowed to be formed, to look into whether or not Marlow should be suspended from her job.
“We want to deal with it in a timely manner,” Dlugolenski said.
Marlow was sanctioned for violating Cherokee County Board of Education policy Oct. 2, and said at the time that she planned to appeal her sanction.
According to State Board of Education rule, the appeal must be filed with the local superintendent within 30 days of the decision, which means that Nov. 1 is the cutoff for Marlow to appeal.
Local School District spokeswoman Barbara Jacoby confirmed Friday that the superintendent had not received an appeal from Marlow. Marlow did not respond to phone or email requests for comments.
According to the State Board of Education rule, “the local superintendent shall within 10 days after the filing of the appeal, transmit to the state school superintendent a copy of the appeal, together with the transcript of evidence and proceedings, the decision of the local board and other matters in the file relating to the appeal.”
Nolt said if the State Board of Education does receive an appeal of Marlow’s sanction, the procedure will follow the State Board of Education Rule on School Law Tribunals and Appeals.
“The time it takes for the appeal to go through the process depends on whether the parties have oral argument and if they request to file additional briefs,” Nolt said. “Nevertheless, it is our goal to move them through the process as expeditiously as possible.”
The State BoE appeal rule states that “The party requesting the appeal shall file a brief with the state board discussing the party’s position within 20 days of the date of docketing. The opposing party shall have 40 days from the date of docketing to file a brief.”
Oral arguments are only heard if they are requested by the hearing officer or by a party involved, and they must be requested within 10 days of the appeal being docketed, according to the rule.
The rule states that the State Board of Education will make a decision within 25 days after it hears the case.
Marlow and two of her associates, her political adviser Robert Trim and Cherokee GOP Secretary Barbara Knowles, were indicted Oct. 14 on multiple felony counts each of making false statements.
The governor’s office confirmed that they received the indictment from Cherokee County District Attorney Shannon Wallace on Oct. 16, starting a 14-day waiting period before the governor would form a panel to look into suspending Marlow from her position on the school board until the final disposition of her felony case or until her term expires, whichever comes first.
Nov. 13 would be the latest date for the panel, consisting of Attorney General Sam Olens and two school board members appointed from any district in the state, to recommend that the governor either suspend, or not suspend, Marlow.
“Our office has to wait 14 days to appoint the three-person panel to review the indictment. So then, that three-person panel has 14 days to make their decision as to whether the indictment against the school board member directly relates to, or adversely affects, her ability to do her job,” Dlugolenski said. “They will make a recommendation to the governor. In essence, she has 28 days to voluntarily suspend herself.”
Marlow and her associates will appear before the Cherokee County Superior Court Judge Jackson Harris for their arraignment Nov. 21 at 9:30 a.m., according to the Cherokee County Clerk of Courts office.
According to court documents, Knowles will be represented by attorney Anthony Morgese from Woodstock, Trim will be represented by attorney Michael Duponte from Chamblee and Marlow’s attorney was not listed.
Wallace said in mid-October a trial date will be chosen after the arraignment.
“Once the case is arraigned, then it will go on Judge Jackson Harris’ trial calendar,” Wallace said. “I believe the first calendar it will appear on will be in January of 2014.”
The charges against Marlow, Trim and Knowles stem from June 13, when Knowles called the Canton Police Department and reported Superintendent of Schools Frank Petruzielo almost ran them over with his car as they were walking from the school board meeting to the Painted Pig Tavern.
Trim could not be reached for comment Friday.