Former Cherokee school board member gets 60 days in jail

Former Cherokee County school board member Kelly Marlow was sentenced Thursday to 60 days in the county jail and 10 years probation for lying to authorities and filing a false police report.

Marlow and her associates Robert Trim and Barbara Knowles, secretary of the county GOP, were found guilty Saturday for alleging that Cherokee school superintendent Frank Petruzielo tried to hit them with his SUV after a late-night school board meeting June 13. Marlow resigned Wednesday from the Cherokee County Board of Education.

The 60 days must be served within the first 12 months of the sentence.

In addition, the three are banned from school board meetings and may have no contact whatsoever with any witness from the state’s case, said Cherokee Assistant District Attorney Rachelle Carnesale.

“They are to stay 500 feet away from Dr. Petruzielo at all times,” she said. “They are required to perform 200 hours of community service and may not possess guns, drugs or alcohol. Each received a fine of $1,000 per felony so Knowles has a $3,000 fine, Marlow and Trim have $2,000.”

Petruzielo said through a school spokesman that justice was served.

“Their sentencing is no cause for celebration and should not be for our community; but this action, coupled with Ms. Marlow’s resignation, provides some sense of closure for us.

“I look forward to the students of School Board District 1 receiving new representation on the School Board, and the School Board returning to the civil and productive atmosphere for which it formerly was known.”

A special election will be held to fill Marlow’s term, which expires Dec. 31 2016, according to school district spokeswoman Barbara Jacoby.