School board member agrees to face ethics hearing in Cherokee

The Cherokee County school board voted Wednesday night to conduct an ethics hearing on controversial board member Kelly Marlow.

The focus will be Marlow’s request that AdvancEd, the parent company of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) reexamine whether the school system deserves full accreditation.

Marlow, who voted in favor of the ethics hearing, is accused of violating the board’s own rules by making an individual request for an investigation by the school system’s accrediting agency.

No firm date has been set for the hearing, but school system officials say it will be held no earlier than Aug. 24. The hearing will be open to the public.

Tensions have been brewing since January when Marlow was sworn in on the board. The Republican with tea party support has publicly called out longtime Superintendent Frank Petruzielo, accusing him of withholding financial information.

They escalated last month after Marlow and two associates claimed Petruzielo’s car charged them, narrowly missing them. Police later charged them with giving false statements, claiming a security video from a nearby tavern didn’t support their claims.