Cherokee County school board member Kelly Marlow and two associates were arrested and charged with filing a false police report over the weekend. Authorities allege that Marlow, along with her political advisor Robert John Trim and local Republican Party member Barbara Knowles, falsely accused Cherokee County Superintendent Frank Petruzielo of attempting to hit them with his car.
Marlow and the superintendent got into a heated debate over the board’s budget and parliamentary procedure during a June 13 board meeting. Marlow told police that after the meeting, she was crossing the street with Knowles and Trim when a car she identified to be Petruzielo’s charged at them.
Arrest warrants were issued for the trio after police saw a video of the incident. All three turned themselves in over the weekend and have since posted bond. Marlow has a history of negative encounters with Petruzielo and the other Cherokee County school board members.
While Marlow’s lawyer initially claimed that his client had never actually accused Petruzielo of trying to run her down, a recording of the 911 call the substitute teacher and mother of two made on the night of the incident suggests otherwise.
“The superintendent of the school raced right by me in his white BMW and did not, did not stop, nothing,” the caller says. “He just accelerated past me.”
The drama between the board members has become so tenuous in recent months that locals have taken to calling the saga “As the School Board Turns.”
Since the incident, Knowles has acknowledged that the group was not at a crosswalk, said Canton police spokesman Pacer Cordry.
Petruzielo, for his part, has denied all wrongdoing.
“As I indicated when I was informed of the report being filed against me, this is a very serious allegation that has no basis in fact,” said Petruzielo.
Marlow’s lawyer, however, said the three made truthful accusations and are being unfairly targeted by the superintendent and police. He said he will fight the charges.