Gov. Deal yet to form a panel to consider Marlow suspension
by Michelle Babcock
October 31, 2013 10:41 PM | 1897 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Gov. Nathan Deal has not yet formed a panel to consider whether to suspend Cherokee County School Board member Kelly Marlow after her felony indictment this month, but the governor still has 13 days to name the representatives.

Thursday was the first day after a mandatory 14-day waiting period that Deal could form the panel to look into suspending Marlow.

Sasha Dlugolenski, a spokeswoman for the governor’s office, confirmed Thursday a panel was not yet formed.

“The governor (was) traveling all day,” Dlugolenski said Thursday. She said an announcement would be made.

Today is the deadline for Marlow to appeal to the state Board of Education regarding her local ethics code violation sanction.

On Thursday, Cherokee County School District spokeswoman Barbara Jacoby confirmed she had not received an appeal from or on behalf of Marlow.

“Neither my office, the superintendent’s office or the school board attorney’s office has received an appeal from Ms. Marlow or her attorney,” Jacoby said.

State Board of Education spokesman Matt Cardoza confirmed Thursday his office had also not received an

appeal for Marlow’s sanction.

Marlow and two of her associates, 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 Oct. 16 they received the indictment from Cherokee County District Attorney Shannon Wallace, and Dlugolenski said that a panel would be formed 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.

Marlow had 14 days from the time the governor’s office received the indictment to suspend herself before the panel could be formed.

Deal can form the panel between Oct. 31 and Nov. 13, and the panel must make a recommendation regarding Marlow’s suspension by Nov. 13. Dlugolenski said Oct. 25 the governor’s office wanted to “deal with it in a timely manner.”

“(The panel will) 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 had 30 days from the time when she was sanctioned by the local school board to appeal the sanction to the state Board of Education; the last day is today.

Marlow was unable to be reached for comment.

A State Board of Education rule states a local school board member’s appeal of a sanction must be filed with the local superintendent within 30 days of the decision, and the local superintendent then has 10 days to transmit the appeal to the state superintendent.

Marlow and her associates are scheduled to appear before Cherokee County Superior Court Judge Jackson Harris for arraignment Nov. 21 at 9:30 a.m., according to the Cherokee County Clerk of Courts office.

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.

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