Chairperson of the recall committee, Ashley Cline, said the group is encouraging community members to write letters and contact Gov. Nathan Deal to urge him to suspend Marlow.
“This is what we’ve been waiting for, and now our attention is really turning to requesting that Gov. Deal suspend her,” Cline said Tuesday. “We’re asking everybody … to reach out to Gov. Deal and ask he suspend her immediately.”
Within minutes of the news of Marlow’s indictment Tuesday, SCRAM! members had already started calling for Deal to remove the school board member from office.
According to Governor’s Office spokeswoman Sasha Dlugolenski, there is a “process” for the governor to suspend a county school board member who has been indicted on felony counts.
First the Governor’s Office must receive a certified indictment letter from the district attorney’s office. Then, the governor would form a small panel to consider whether or not the charges against the school board member effect their ability to do their job, Dlugolenski said. The panel would then make a recommendation to Deal on whether or not the person needed to be suspended from office.
Cherokee County School Board Chair Janet Read said Tuesday the school board would allow the legal system to handle the issue. “This is obviously a legal issue now, and we’ll go through the proper channels of the legal system,” Read said. “The school board will abide by whatever the outcome of the indictment, and this entire legal issue, is.”
SCRAM! Treasurer Christine Rea said the group has been waiting for the indictment, and she hopes Deal will suspend Marlow from her position on the Cherokee County School Board, pending the disposition of the four felony charges against her.
“It’s great news,” Rea said Tuesday. “We were kind of waiting on this … now that she’s been indicted, not on one, but on four felony counts, there is hope that the governor can come in and suspend her.”
Cline said she was “kind of shocked” to see they had been indicted on 12 total charges, instead of the original four they were arrested on in July.
“At the same time, I’m not surprised. Considering the horrible things that she’s done as a school board member,” Cline said. “But I firmly believe that justice will be served. The fact that the district attorney has come up with so many additional charges just goes to show the kind of person that we’re dealing with.”
Canton Police Department originally obtained warrants for the arrests of Marlow, Trim and Knowles, each on one count of making false statements. Knowles, who made the 911 call, also faced one misdemeanor count of false report of a crime.
On Tuesday, the indictment that was filed with the Cherokee County Clerk of Court’s Office shows Marlow was indicted on four felony counts of making false statements, Trim on three felony counts of making false statements, and Knowles on four felony counts of making false statements and one misdemeanor count of false report of a crime.
Rea said the indictment gives the recall committee a little more time to continue organizing the “manpower and money” a recall would take.
“We’ve waited this long,” Rea said. “We’re willing to wait another couple of weeks.”
Cline said the group hopes Deal’s office will repeat the results of a similar situation that happened last year with a Dougherty County School Board Member Velvet Riggins.
“There’s a precedent that was set last summer, it was a board member … she was removed through this exact same process last summer. She was indicted last April on several felony charges,” Cline said. “The governor’s panel reviewed and recommended that she was removed.”
Three months after Riggins was indicted, Deal signed an executive order suspending her position as a member of the school board, as recommended by a panel that examined Riggin’s case.
“If that doesn’t happen, it’s all about a recall (and) we’ll be moving forward with the recall,” Cline said.