A group of Cherokee County residents has registered with the state ethics commission to become an official recall committee, hoping to remove embattled Cherokee County School Board member Kelly Marlow from office.
But a leader of the committee says they are waiting for the right time to begin the recall effort.
Creator of the Facebook group called SCRAM!, or Smart Citizens Rally Against Marlow, Christine Rea, is listed as treasurer for the recall committee trying to oust the school board member.
Also called SCRAM! but standing for a different acronym — the Special Committee to Recall Marlow — the committee was registered June 28, according to the registration information for the committee on the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission website, formerly known as the State Ethics Commission.
On Thursday, Rea said the committee is waiting to “pull the trigger” on the recall.
“Is the governor going to step in and suspend her is she going to be found guilty of a felony and we don’t have to spend the amount of money it would cost for a recall and save the taxpayers money on that end, too?” Rea said. “We want her to step down. … It’s like every time you turn around, she’s throwing another curveball.”
In July, Marlow, her political adviser Robert Trim and Cherokee County Republican Party Secretary Barbara Knowles were arrested on felony charges of making false statements to the police, claiming the school superintendent tried to run them over after a heated school board meeting June 13. Knowles was additionally charged with a misdemeanor count of false report of a crime, according to court documents.
Rea said that she started the SCRAM! (Smart Citizens Rally Against Marlow) Facebook group around the time that Marlow, Trim and Knowles were arrested, and said that the recall committee is “waiting for the right time.”
“When we started it, we thought that we would have to do it much sooner,” Rea said. “But then all of that legal stuff happened with Kelly, part of our thought was, ‘We may not have to go through with the recall process because maybe it will be taken care of for us.’”
Marlow will face a code of ethics violation hearing after a unanimous vote by the board at its July 24 meeting to conduct the hearing.
Marlow voted for her own hearing, and on Friday she requested the school district pay for her attorney out of its budget, which is mainly funded by Cherokee County taxpayers.
Interest in starting a recall is growing, according to Rea, and she said “people are ready.”
Rea said that on Wednesday, she and the committee chairperson Michelle Albers were “dotting I’s and crossing T’s” for the recall effort.
“As far as I’m concerned, (there are) plenty of reasons to move on with (the recall), but then again, I want to make sure that when we do it, we do it right, and we get it done,” Rea said.
“We started the process, so when we are ready all we have to do is forge ahead. We don’t have to worry about putting the committee together, opening the accounts, that kind of stuff. When the time is ready, we are ready.”
Marlow’s request that her attorney fees be covered by the school district is on the agenda for tonight’s Board of Education meeting, which will take place at 7 p.m. A work session will begin at 5:30 p.m., half an hour earlier than originally planned.
On Wednesday, Cherokee School District spokeswoman Barbara Jacoby said there had not been any change in the location for the meeting; it is still taking place at the historic Canton High School Board Auditorium.
A date for the code of ethics violation hearing has not yet been set.
Jacoby said the district “has names” for a hearing officer and court reporter, but said they are waiting to set the date in order to work out everyone’s schedules.