Marlow, Others Guilty

April 26, 2014 21:53 pm

by Buzz Brockway · 46 comments

According to the Cherokee Tribune, Cherokee Board of Education member Kelly Marlow and her associates have been found guilty of making false statements to police.

{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

Dash Riptide April 26, 2014 at 10:41 pm

Oh, no. There goes Tokyo…

Raleigh April 26, 2014 at 10:57 pm
South Fulton Guy April 26, 2014 at 11:34 pm

So having been convicted of a felony she can no longer be a school board member….

John Konop April 27, 2014 at 7:05 am

It is sad story……Kelley has kids…..I have been outspoken about her negative actions as a school board member….this case via sentencing is a tough, because making false charges does threaten liberty for a person, and should not be tolerated, let alone a political weapon…….but up to 5 years in prison on 4 counts seems harsh….I hope something does get worked out to minimize time served……

xdog April 27, 2014 at 7:25 am

The Canton Patch says Marlow and Trim were each convicted of 2 felony charges, Knowles of 3. They won’t get 5 years per and they’ll file appeals anyway. I doubt they ever see the inside of a cell. Pity.

http://canton-ga.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/marlow-associates-found-guilty-in-false-statements-trial

John Konop April 27, 2014 at 7:39 am

The orgianal story said 4, in the Ledger….I have since read 2 of them got thrown out after I posted this….

Dash Riptide April 27, 2014 at 10:38 am

They were found guilty. They won’t stand convicted until a judgment on the verdict is entered. So technically Thursday will be the day. And also technically, when the max sentence is ten years, the judge has the option to treat the offenses as misdemeanors. Technically.

Three Jack April 27, 2014 at 10:59 am

John,

People with kids commit crime and should be punished based on the crime, not their family size. In this case, I would bet Kelly and Knowles get off relatively light with probation/fines but it should not be decided based upon kids or health issues.

John Konop April 27, 2014 at 1:08 pm

I disagree Bart…..sentencing should take into consideration family circumstances….btw the system does….it grants people the right to work and do time on weekends and night who are convicted of crimes….it takes into consideration rehab when sentencing….

As you know I have taken a lot of personal hits from the Marlow/ Geist…..crowd via policy……Yet, with that said, I can take a step back….and hope the system takes mercy into consideration…..I have no idea if this will ever change their hearts….I believe I am responsible for my behavior….and I do believe forgiveness sometimes changes people….and helps you forgive your own mistakes….

Three Jack April 28, 2014 at 9:27 am

Simply put John, if the mother does not take time to consider the effects for her actions on her children, then it is not the responsibility of the court or society to do so. They should have settled this matter long before it came to a costly jury trial.

saltycracker April 27, 2014 at 3:40 pm

Darn TJ, with John’s approach we’d have to pay a convicted illegal that got a check for 9 kids on his child tax credit rebate. He’s a lot more sensitive than you .

John Konop April 27, 2014 at 3:58 pm

I am just a big art of war fan….it is all about winning the peace….

saltycracker April 27, 2014 at 5:29 pm

Forgiveness is charity, justice is consequences.

Greg S April 27, 2014 at 3:05 pm

I wonder if she thought about her “kids” when she made the false report of a crime? I wonder if she thought about the wife and kids of the man who she tried to have arrested?

John Konop April 27, 2014 at 3:20 pm

In no way am I defending her actions….in fact most would expect me to be on the list of calling for harsh treatment. Our community needs to heal….this constant fighting between groups hurts us way more than it helps….

I agree going after Dr. P and his freedom is flat out wrong….The real question is what is next…I say it is time to break the cycle….That is why I am speaking out….Marlow has taken a tremendous humiliating blow….obviously her own actions caused the problem….but with that said, do we really need to give her a harsh sentence as well?

A Dapper Gentleman April 27, 2014 at 4:29 pm

Now is not time to get soft on crime. If we start making exceptions, where will it end?

John Konop April 27, 2014 at 4:33 pm

Are you really defending war on drugs, over sentencing for non violent crimes…..we already got that concept has been a complete public policy failure….

Greg S April 27, 2014 at 8:24 pm

I guess no white suburbanite soccer mom should ever go to jail because her wonderful little kids will suffer and what good would it do anyway? It just sounds a lot like you’re informed by your biases and you seem to care a lot more about her kids than she did.

We need to coin a new term here because “afluenza” wont fit.

John Konop April 27, 2014 at 8:35 pm

My bias? Try google my name with her and read the numerous articles I have written about her performance on our school board….than tell me about my bias…..

saltycracker April 27, 2014 at 10:50 am

It’s a sad mark on Cherokee. Jail time for false accusations ? With that we’d wonder where all our politicians have gone. It warrants fines plus 911 and court costs. The injured can take it to civil court.

The big question is where does this play out to serve the public on the school board, the GOP and as a political advisor.

Cherokee is growing and rotting at the same time. Evidence is the folks stepping up to hold office and spend our money while promising to settle adjudicated outstanding obligations. Those same supporters will rush in to campaign for criminally convicted folks once their obligation to the people has been settled (as long as they promise to vote their way).

Dave Bearse April 27, 2014 at 1:40 pm

The problem with only fines and court costs that is the false accusation was a felony that would have destroyed reputations and if convicted taken away the liberties of those falsely accused. More than 390 days in jail after conviction is in order.

Dave Bearse April 28, 2014 at 8:56 pm

That was supposed to be “[m]ore than 90 days…”

Noway April 27, 2014 at 4:58 pm

Jail time for all is warranted. All were convicted of felony offenses. And who gives a crap if any of them has kids?! They were trying to damage some perceived political enemy. Local politics is often filled with vile s**t, these three inbreds are walking proof. Even if it’s just 30 days in the local klink, a felony conviction will follow them all for the rest of their lives. Were such actions involving such a lowly office like a school board really worth your careers?

Noway April 27, 2014 at 5:06 pm

And if you want to go soft on false statements, why did Mitch Skandalakas get six months in a federal lockup for his conviction of making false statements? It’s the same dang charge! Just ’cause he lied to the FBI and not local police, he got the hoosgow?? If they get off with just fines/probation, where’s the consistency? And don’t say Mitch was involved in more heavy crap. He was charged and convicted of the charge of making false statements, not other crimes/malfeasance. Help me out here…

Charlie April 27, 2014 at 5:19 pm

“He was charged and convicted of the charge of making false statements, not other crimes/malfeasance.”

I think you can say these three are lucky they weren’t charged with/convicted of other crimes/malfeasance. They conspired to try and frame someone else, in order to take away his livelihood and his personal freedom/liberty. That’s conspiracy. If any organization they all work in could be at the center, you have the possibility of RICO statutes being invoked (something the super may want to consider in a civil action).

This isn’t some ha-ha prank gone wrong. This was a criminal enterprise, and a felony jail sentence is warranted.

John Konop April 27, 2014 at 5:20 pm

First 6 months is not 5 years per felony and 12 months on the other charge…..Second, I have never said what is right only that it should not be on the harsh side, third depending on her behavior and not appealing, in trade for probation and a hefty fine covering the county cost might make sense…finally, as I said, I do think it would bring the community together if it was done with light touch over a harsh touch….

Noway April 27, 2014 at 6:04 pm

Sorry to disagree, John. I don’t see any reason whatsoever for leniency. Let Cherokee County heal knowing these goobers are in jail.

saltycracker April 27, 2014 at 6:04 pm

John wants to forgive for the children, don’t be harsh and doesn’t know what’s right, Noway thinks it compares to a criminal enterprise and he and DB want some serious jail time.

What’s right, for what most of the people believing the new police chief that the 911 call was BS, is for them to pay big fines and court/911 costs. Also, Marlow to resign/be relieved from public service, no pay, no benefits, the GOP to distance themselves from Knowles and political aspirants to think twice before hiring Trim. Plus, Dr P could, with a conviction, haul them into civil court if he chooses. That’s justice.

saltycracker April 27, 2014 at 6:24 pm

Sorry Noway read too fast, Charlie thinks it is a criminal enterprise. He might be giving these 3 too much credit as the 911 call never got anywhere. Dr P probably has the better case now.

Noway April 27, 2014 at 6:26 pm

Charlie compared it to a criminal enterprise and he’s right. Are you saying no jail time at all, salty? If so, im really surprised.

saltycracker April 27, 2014 at 6:32 pm

Noway – corrected- I’ll be ok IF the Attorneys work a deal with them on my above financial pain and other points – if they want to drag it out,appeals, not letting Dr P have a shot at them and Marlow stay on the school board, lock ‘em up for a long time.

Noway April 27, 2014 at 6:38 pm

Dr P can sue them civilly regardless of what happens criminaly.

saltycracker April 27, 2014 at 6:42 pm

True and his case just got a lot better.
But I’d bet between now and Thursday there is a lot of “let’s work this out” going on.

Noway April 27, 2014 at 6:44 pm

Oh, hell yes it did! Help me with my ignorance in this matter. What did these three Mensa members have against the guy to file the bogus report?

saltycracker April 27, 2014 at 7:08 pm

I’ve been on committees with Dr P and while we are on opposite ends of the political spectrum, you’d better be prepared to take him on. He does not tolerate the unprepared or slow. He has greatly improved the Cherokee schools. He also serves at the pleasure of a republican board, theoretically holding him on a “right” rope. He might not want charter schools but the elected Board makes that call.

Paradoxically, the executive moving to metro Atlanta allows his wife great latitude in where to live and her first demand is to be where they have good schools. On that Dr P delivers.

Dr P delivers and he can cut bait too, so if his handlers and detractors can’t stay up all that is left is an emotional reaction…..
Maybe we need to elect a school board with enough sense to at least pay their taxes and vet charter applications.

Raleigh April 28, 2014 at 8:47 am

I would not be too quick to heap praise on Dr. Petruzielo. He has a very interesting record in Broward County Florida. I am also not too sure the vetting process we had and have now in Cherokee county for Superintendants is very mature. He was after all the first “Hired” superintendant. As far as Cherokees “Great” Schools I don’t think that is necessarily true. The emphasis is and has been on college prep. That’s popular today. If that’s all Cherokee county does then we are leaving big hole in the education of a lot of students. I’ll go this far and say Petruzielo is a better politician that an educator. We didn’t need to hire a politician we were supposed to hire an educator.

John Konop April 28, 2014 at 10:11 am

Raleigh,

The truth is the AP program for college level students is excellent….as demonstrated by pass rate of AP classes and SAT scores ranked near the top…….My oldest went through it and it was as good as any top private school.

As far as vocational education…..Dr P has been supportive and opening up programs….this has been a challenge via the state mandates college track only in Georgia….

They have just rolled out an home school public school option with major flexibility….

They are working on other projects as well….but in the 12 years I have been in Cherokee we went from the watch list of at risk schools…to the top level in the state, as well as some nationally recognized programs…Nothing is perfect and their is a road ahead especially for vo-tech students….It is hard to argue the success since Dr P got involved….

Three Jack April 28, 2014 at 9:23 am

Spot on salty. I posted that from the day charges were filed; bring your ‘A’ game if you plan to take on Dr. P. He lives for these type challenges to his authority and despite what happened years ago in FL, he has been very successful in Cherokee County.

Marlow and Trim have been firing blanks from the moment she got elected and paradoxically have not only failed to get dirt on Dr. P, they actually empowered him more through their many failed actions. One could surmise they were being paid by Dr. P considering the results of their ‘attacks’ over the past year.

John Konop April 28, 2014 at 10:12 am

…….Marlow and Trim have been firing blanks from the moment she got elected and paradoxically have not only failed to get dirt on Dr. P, they actually empowered him more through their many failed actions. One could surmise they were being paid by Dr. P considering the results of their ‘attacks’ over the past year…….

This is what most people think….Well said!

Noway April 28, 2014 at 11:36 am

John, can you give me the short version of why they’ve been “firing blanks” at Dr. P? To only slightly paraphrase Clara Peller. “What’s the beef?!”

saltycracker April 28, 2014 at 1:33 pm

Jumping in with a :) short SA answer:
One angry white guy and two dupes.

saltycracker April 28, 2014 at 1:36 pm

That ain’t no criminal enterprise but it is very annoying and deserving of penalties.

John Konop April 28, 2014 at 2:02 pm

One of a few articles I wrote on the topic below:

Cherokee County Schools: Should Kelly Marlow resign her board seat after her arrest?

Marlow’s statements are in italic. Konop’s responses to her are in bold:

….I now fully understand why parents, teachers, future, current and former employees, and sadly even board members associated with the Cherokee County School District tremble with such fear when challenging the status quo. If you have followed this situation, you have witnessed a clear, calculated and unprecedented smear campaign. Fortunately, the majority of citizens of this County are not easily fooled by manipulative accounting practices, unfounded complaints, biased media reporting and fear mongering set forth from this administration and carried out by minions of the monopoly…..

1) This statement demonstrates why the public is upset. You once again spew nasty accusations with no facts. As a public official, you should question how taxpayer money is spent……once again you have stepped way over the line with the above statement. As a public official, you should demonstrate constructive behavior, not use wild mudslinging.

……It is precisely the fear tactics used by this administration and the Board’s willingness to tolerate them that led to my letter to SACS. The letter addressed leadership and transparency, not academics. I repeat, I have not questioned the academic success our district has earned; however, the means to that end have been riddled with intimidation and a lack of separation on the part of elected officials and administration. I appreciate that my questions have motivated parents and teachers to action. I ran for office on a platform of open and honest communication and this is about doing what I was elected to do. It is about our children, who deserve better. I do not believe in leadership by intimidation and I will not surrender to fear. We have seen this tactic used repeatedly in this county in attempts to scare citizens into opposing reapportionment, the debt building E-SPLOST taxation and to make parents question their decision to choose the best education for their child. These tactics only serve to divide our community and stifle growth……

2) The truth is our county had tremendous issues with our schools before Dr. P. Now our school system is considered one of the best in the state. It is irrational to use an accreditation board to make unfounded wild accusations. This is extremely irresponsible behavior, especially for a school board member.

……I do not dread SACS, nor should the citizens of Cherokee County, and I vehemently oppose the use of SACS as a tool to intimidate elected officials into constant state of deference to the unelected Superintendents. If the practice of obtaining accreditation by SACS is truly a process that “yields the best results for schools and school systems, and ultimately for students, by uniting community stakeholders, including education experts who provide personalized assistance to institutions and educational systems,” then they are the perfect vehicle for righting this ship. My hope, which mirrors that of many of your fellow citizens, is that SACS will come, give guidance and help make it possible for the duly elected officials to have access to the information necessary to make educated decisions for the best interest of the students and staff…………..

3) It is irrelevant if you agree or disagree with the current SACS system via you filing the complaint. As an elected school board member, you should not put the accreditation of our students in jeopardy via a personal vendetta. I supported your right to bring up issues, but your inability to understand the proper forum and process demonstrates why you should resign.

………Nothing I have done has been done in haste. I certainly have made mistakes, but I have owned them and tried to remedy them. I am humbled by the outpouring of support I receive daily from community members, the majority of which sadly fear the repercussion of speaking out in opposition to the wrongs they witness. Sadly, I see many directing their frustration at me personally, rather than taking an opportunity to help improve CCSD, by focusing on the issues……..

4) Your actions and statements demonstrate you are pushing the drama/politics over any real issues. I tried to get you to work with people for positive projects like the latest C3 Academy online…….instead you would rather throw wild punches. The difference between you and Janet Reed is that she focuses on improving the schools system and puts the politics aside.

……I have invited the Superintendent to meet with me personally. I have asked our Board Attorney to schedule a Board Retreat to resolve communication issues and to help this board find common ground to move past our differences. I have pleaded with the Board Chairman to conduct public hearings on the audit, the budget and the implementation of Common Core. It is unfortunate that the last response to my request was that she would not direct the Superintendent and his staff to answer my direct questions. I feel that this behavior has been a hindrance to the Board’s ability to make good sound choices that we were elected by the people to do…….

5) Are you serious? According to the papers, this is the second time you have accused Dr P. and videos demonstrate they are false accusations. Combine that with your spewing hate at people. Why would anyone at this point trust meeting with you?

The clock is ticking for the taxpayers. The budget vote is on the July 24th agenda. I felt that I was forced to act swiftly because the inaction of this governing body has left me no other path. As said in the poem Freedom in America by Joanna Fuchs, “Complacency is weakness, patriots can’t afford; we have to act on wrongs that cannot be ignored.

6) Before you do any more damage to our community, why not resign?

I remain your humble and duly elected servant.

7) Please resign.

http://www.ajc.com/weblogs/get-schooled/2013/jul/14/cherokee-county-should-kelly-marlow-resign/

John Konop April 28, 2014 at 2:10 pm

Another one that was in numerous newspapers….

All great companies, communities, organizations are built on respecting diverse, educated opinions to form policy. Best policy comes from making mistakes, and readjusting upon proper evolution of the project from having open dialog that fosters different opinions, experiences and honest, objective evaluation.

Our country was based on the ability to listen and compromise while respecting minority views. America is famous for the peaceful transition of government no matter what side wins.

The disturbing part of the Kelly Marlow incident is how this flies in the face of our legal foundation. Kelly and her friends are accused of filing a false police report that could have resulted in stripping (Superintendent of Schools) Dr. (Frank) P(etruzielo) of his liberty. The Marlow legal team and her supporters have down played the seriousness of the charges.

Kelly will and should get her day in court under our legal system, but as a school board member it sends the wrong message that this type of alleged behavior is not a serious crime.

Kelly Marlow, Michael Geist and some of her supporters are sending a message to the students in our county that it is acceptable to make false felony charges.

Instead of writing a letter of support for Kelly Marlow, school board member Michael Geist should have advocated for any felony indictment of a public office holder should result in a suspension from public responsibilities. The only consideration should be paid, unpaid or termination by the state.

The final straw is Kelly Marlow has been publicly attacking the school district about an audited financial that gave Cherokee school system a pass. Kelly Marlow was offered a class on public financing for public schools so she could better understand the issues. Instead of taking the class to learn, she has recklessly posted accusations.

Meanwhile she sends her own children to publicly financed charter school that their own board members will not sign off on the financials — not even at the same level scrutiny of a public accounting firm audit because the school cannot even figure out how many students they service.

Ironically, Michael Geist and Kelly Marlow publicly attack me because I warned about the lack of fiscal controls in the Charter Amendment, which, by the way, the legislature is now working on dealing with issues I brought up.

As many of you know I have challenged the establishment on school policy more than most. At the same time, I have also shown respect for what we have accomplish in Cherokee County with our schools. I have attempted to bring groups together by advocating school policy from home school/public school options, vocational, co-op, etc.

In most cases I find people agree way more than they disagree. It is personal, nasty politics that gets in the way of us improving our county.

John Konop, Woodstock resident
All great companies, communities, organizations are built on respecting diverse, educated opinions to form policy. Best policy comes from making mistakes, and readjusting upon proper evolution of the project from having open dialog that fosters different opinions, experiences and honest, objective evaluation.

Our country was based on the ability to listen and compromise while respecting minority views. America is famous for the peaceful transition of government no matter what side wins.

The disturbing part of the Kelly Marlow incident is how this flies in the face of our legal foundation. Kelly and her friends are accused of filing a false police report that could have resulted in stripping (Superintendent of Schools) Dr. (Frank) P(etruzielo) of his liberty. The Marlow legal team and her supporters have down played the seriousness of the charges.

Kelly will and should get her day in court under our legal system, but as a school board member it sends the wrong message that this type of alleged behavior is not a serious crime.

Kelly Marlow, Michael Geist and some of her supporters are sending a message to the students in our county that it is acceptable to make false felony charges.

Instead of writing a letter of support for Kelly Marlow, school board member Michael Geist should have advocated for any felony indictment of a public office holder should result in a suspension from public responsibilities. The only consideration should be paid, unpaid or termination by the state.

The final straw is Kelly Marlow has been publicly attacking the school district about an audited financial that gave Cherokee school system a pass. Kelly Marlow was offered a class on public financing for public schools so she could better understand the issues. Instead of taking the class to learn, she has recklessly posted accusations.

Meanwhile she sends her own children to publicly financed charter school that their own board members will not sign off on the financials — not even at the same level scrutiny of a public accounting firm audit because the school cannot even figure out how many students they service.

Ironically, Michael Geist and Kelly Marlow publicly attack me because I warned about the lack of fiscal controls in the Charter Amendment, which, by the way, the legislature is now working on dealing with issues I brought up.

As many of you know I have challenged the establishment on school policy more than most. At the same time, I have also shown respect for what we have accomplish in Cherokee County with our schools. I have attempted to bring groups together by advocating school policy from home school/public school options, vocational, co-op, etc.

In most cases I find people agree way more than they disagree. It is personal, nasty politics that gets in the way of us improving our county.

John Konop, Woodstock resident

http://woodstock.patch.com/groups/schools/p/resident-kelly-marlows-actions-sends-the-wrong-message

Three Jack April 30, 2014 at 10:27 am
Anyone But Chip April 30, 2014 at 10:31 am

Too bad the date on her resignation letter wasn’t accurate. April 30, 2013 would have saved the county a whole load of headaches.

http://www.cherokee.k12.ga.us/Lists/News%20%20Announcements/Attachments/291/LettertoJohnBarge.pdf