Cherokee County School Board member Kelly Marlow
Cherokee County parent Christine Rea
Woodstock attorney Anthony Morgese
Cherokee County Republican Party Secretary Barbara Knowles
Cherokee County School Board
Cherokee County School Superintendent Frank Petruzielo
Robert Trim, political advisor to Cherokee County School Board member Kelly Marlow
CANTON -- A political battle in the Cherokee County School Board room has now escalated to the courtroom.
Kelly Marlow, a reformer who won a seat on the board last fall, now faces criminal charges along with two other people.
Last Friday, the Canton Police Department obtained arrest warrants for Marlow, political advisor Robert Trim and Cherokee County Republican Party Secretary Barbara Knowles, charging them with filing a false police report and providing false statements to detectives.
Marlow has waged a bitter battle with School Superintendent Frank Petruzielo and some other board members, even asking the SACS accrediting agency to investigate them for alleged mismanagement.
It all came to a head after a June 13th board meeting when Marlow, Trim and Knowles filed a police report claiming Superintendent Petruzielo nearly ran them over with his SUV while they were crossing the street in front of a downtown Canton restaurant.
"The superintendent of the schools raced right by me in his white BMW," Knowles said to the Canton 911 operator, "and did not, did not stop. Nothing."
Moments later during the call, the operator asks, "Okay, and so he sped by you?"
"I was crossing the street and he sped up and went right by me."
Knowles admitted they were not in a pedestrian crosswalk.
Petruzielo issued a statement saying, "As indicated when I was informed of the report being filed against me, this is a very serious allegation that has no basis in fact."
Nearly a month later, on July 5th, Canton Police filed the false report charges against Marlow, Trim and Knowles instead.
Saturday morning Marlow and Trim turned themselves in to the Cherokee County Adult Detention Center at approximately 8:00. Both were released on bond.
Knowles surrendered Sunday morning and was released after posting $11,800 bond.
Monday an attorney representing all three told 11 Alive News they are sticking to their story.
"My clients believed in what they did, they still believe in what they did and they're going to fight this all the way," said Woodstock attorney Anthony Morgese.
Meanwhile, more than 1,600 people have signed up for a Facebook page called "SCRAM!(Smart Citizens Against Marlow)" aimed at getting her off the school board.
"I think that the majority of us would much rather, at this point in time, see her resign her position," SCRAM organizer Christine Rea told 11 Alive.