The hearing is at 6 p.m. at the historic Canton High School Auditorium and is open to the public.
The Board of Education voted unanimously at its July 24 meeting, to hold the ethics hearing to determine if Marlow violated school board ethics policy by sending the complaint letter to AdvancED, the agency in charge of school accreditation, alleging that the district was in violation of AdvancED standards and/or policies.
The Cherokee School District was cleared by AdvancEd in a letter dated Aug. 19, in which the agency’s president and CEO, Dr. Mark Elgart, stated that the “district is not in violation of AdvancED Accreditation Standards and/or policies,” and “no further action is needed” in Marlow’s complaints.
Marlow’s request that the board pay for her attorney cost was denied at the school board’s Aug. 15 meeting, by a 2-5 vote, with Marlow and Michael Geist the only two in favor of the motion made by Marlow.
If Marlow is found to have violated board policy, School District spokeswoman Barbara Jacoby said that the board would determine the action taken against her.
“The school board will determine the censure, which cannot include removal from office or barring her attendance from School Board meetings, but no other parameters have been set by state law or School Board policy,” Jacoby said.
School Board Attorney Tom Roach served Marlow a hearing notice through certified mail and email on Tuesday, signed by Board Chair Janet Read, and a copy was obtained by the Tribune through an open records request.
“You may, by yourself or with the assistance of your attorney, make opening remarks, cross examine witnesses called to testify by the Board, call witnesses to testify on your behalf and/or make closing remarks to the Board,” the notice, signed by Read, said. “All witnesses will be sworn and subject to cross examination.”
The notice stated that the board will be looking at two specific policies to determine if Marlow was in violation of board policy by sending a complaint letter to AdvancED in June.
The board will determine at the ethics violation hearing, “whether or not the act of sending the complaint to AdvancED constituted a violation by Kelly Marlow of School Board Policy ‘BH’ Domain I: Governance Structure No. 1 which states: ‘Recognize that the authority of the board rests only with the board as a whole and not with individual board members and act accordingly.’”
The board will also determine, “whether or not the act of sending the complaint to AdvancEd constituted a violation by Kelly Marlow of School Board Policy ‘BH’ Domain VII: Conduct as a Board Member No. 4 which states: ‘Take no private action that will compromise the board or school system administration.’”
Jacoby said that Hugh Dorsey will be the hearing officer, at a rate of $300 and hour, and said Roach has a pending offer for a court reporter, but the rate has not yet been determined.
Marlow could not be reached for comment before deadline.