The 14-day wait to name the panel would allow Marlow to voluntarily suspend herself, a spokesperson for the governor’s office said. The suspension would remain in effect until the final disposition of her felony case or until her term expires.
Marlow and two of her associates, political adviser Robert Trim and Cherokee GOP Secretary Barbara Knowles, were indicted Monday by a grand jury on felony charges of making false statements.
Governor’s office spokeswoman Sasha Dlugolenski confirmed Wednesday Deal’s office received the indictment from Cherokee County District Attorney Shannon Wallace.
“We have received it. The governor has to wait 14 days before appointing a three-person panel to review the case. It’ll be two school board members and the attorney general,” Dlugolenski said.
The school board members can be appointed to the panel from any district in the state, she said.
The panel would consider whether or not the charges against the school board member affect her ability to do her job, Dlugolenski said. Then, the panel would make a recommendation to Deal on whether or not the person needed to be suspended from office.
According to Georgia law, if the panel “determines that the indictment related to and adversely affects the administration,” and, “the rights and interests of the public are adversely affected,” Deal would have the authority to suspend Marlow from her office, “pending the final disposition of the case or until the expiration of the officer’s term of office, whichever occurs first.”
Wallace said the next step for the felony trial is the arraignment, which could happen in November.
“Pursuant to OCGA 45-5-6, I submitted a certified copy of the indictment to the governor’s office (Wednesday). The next step is the arraignment, whichshould happen in November,” Wallace said.
Wallace said after the arraignment, a trial date will be chosen.
“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.”
On Tuesday, the indictment filed with the Cherokee County Clerk of Court’s Office showed 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.
The charges against the suspects stem from June 13 when Knowles called the Canton Police Department and reported Superintendent of Schools Frank Petruzielo almost ran them over as they were walking from the school board meeting to the Painted Pig Tavern.