Ohio mom who put kids in wrong school was 'deceitful,' parole board says
Kelley Williams-Bolar served nine days in January for her conviction on two counts of falsifying records.
September 2nd, 2011
08:17 PM ET

Ohio mom who put kids in wrong school was 'deceitful,' parole board says

The Ohio Parole Board unanimously recommended against clemency for a mother who lied about her residency so her children could attend school tuition-free in another district.

Kelley Williams-Bolar admitted in a July hearing that she was wrong to enroll her two daughters in the Copley-Fairlawn school district from under her father's address while she lived in subsidized housing in Akron. She claimed she did so because she did not want to leave her daughters home alone after school while she was attending classes at The University of Akron, fearing for their safety after a 2006 burglary.

The eight-panel board concluded that she could have investigated other options, such as looking at other districts, asking friends or neighbors to babysit, or actually moving into her parents' home. Instead, she chose "a pattern of deceitful behavior," the Board wrote in its clemency report, released Friday.

"Ms. Williams-Bolar was faced with a no more difficult situation than any other working parent who must ensure that their children are safe during, before and after school hours in their absence," it said in its ruling. "Most parents find legitimate and legal options to address this issue. Ms. Williams-Bolar's only response was to be deceitful."

The recommendation goes on to Gov. John Kasich, who expressed sympathy for Williams-Bolar earlier this year after her sentencing.

"Although we are disappointed with the Parole Board's recommendation, we remain confident that justice will ultimately prevail," Williams-Bolar's lawyer, David Singleton, said. "The Governor, not the Parole Board, has the last word on Kelley's clemency petition."

A Summit County jury convicted Williams-Bolar in January of two felony counts of tampering with records. She was sentenced to a five-year suspended sentence and two years of community supervision.

The case drew nationwide attention nationwide, raising debate about equal access to quality education and allegations of selective prosecution.

Opinion: Mom jailed for sending kids to school wanted a choice

But Williams-Bolar had no complaints about the education her children were receiving in the Akron City School District, the Board wrote in its decision, citing arguments from Williams-Bolar's attorneys.

"This was not a case about race or civil rights and Ms. Williams-Bolar has never made this claim," according to the clemency report. "This is a case where Ms. Williams-Bolar was worried about the safety of her daughters, and has been severely punished, and the collateral consequences will be devastating for her future."

Williams-Bolar wrote in her application for clemency that the felony convictions would prevent her from obtaining a license in teaching or social work, which she has been working toward on and off since 1988.

She told the Board she was not sure when she would go back to college, and ultimately acknowledged that she has to raise her GPA before can gain entry into a school of education, according to the clemency report.

She has been able to keep her position with the Akron Public Schools as a teacher's assistant, but her attorney stated that her employment is contingent upon the outcome of her appeals and the clemency decision, according to the report. She also has been able to maintain her residence with the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority.

Prosecutors claimed that Williams-Bolar had plenty of time and opportunity to end her deceptions before she was indicted in October 2009 trial. Instead, she continued to "fight and build on her deceptions," the Board wrote.

Williams-Bolar told the Board that while she continues to reside at the Hartford Avenue address in Akron, she used her father’s address when she renewed her driver’s license a few weeks before the July clemency hearing.

"She does not seem to understand nor accept the fact that the Black Pond address is not her legal residence, when she has resided and continues to reside at the Hartford Avenue address," the Board wrote.

Gov. Kasich does not have to follow the Board's recommendation. Days after taking office, he launched an inquiry into the case and asked the parole board to review it.

"Karen and I work hard to make a better future for our girls so when I first heard about Ms. Kelley Williams-Bolar’s case last week it really struck me, as it has many other people," he said in February, according to the Beacon Journal.

"Our laws exist for a reason and they must be enforced, but the idea that a woman would become a convicted felon for wanting a better future for her children is something that has rightly raised a lot of concern with people, including me."

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Filed under: Crime • Education • Ohio
soundoff (382 Responses)
  1. Momo

    Casey goes FREE after killing her kid.

    This women goes to jail, after trying to BETTER her kids.

    USA and RACE justice.

    September 2, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • why not

      momo, I don't think this has as much to do with race as just plain stupidity on the part of the board and the stupidity of the jurors in Florida.

      September 2, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Dude

      This Country will be better when we Whites are a minority. It will happen in less than 75 years.

      September 2, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      It is a theft of the tax dollars of the community where her father resides. Even IF her father pays school tax. That is the official story and the law.
      That said, I've literally done the same thing when I found our city schools were so far below the national standard as to be beyond shocking.
      At my parents address, the school district did examine them, initially thinking them mentally retarded, only to find above average intelligence, but that they were never taught what was SUPPOSED to be taught. On top of that, the city school falsified the national standardized tests, telling the children to randomly check off answers, as "they didn't have enough time", on other tests, the school held fire drills, knowing full well these are timed tests. The reason: To get more federal funding.
      The funny thing is, eventually, the county caught on. But, they never prosecuted me. Oh, wait, I'm white.

      September 2, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • afsd

      Your right dude because all the current lazy minorities can begin subsidizing whites when that happens. We can just squeeze out children and live on welfare then.

      September 2, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Exposo

      Yeah it does have to do with race.

      September 2, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Craig S.

      This was my school distrcit, and I DON'T want her here. Learn when you aren't welcome.

      September 4, 2011 at 12:42 am | Report abuse |
  2. carolina rivera

    This is SO wrong, I bet this woman doesn't receive child support and is raising this kids alone, The fact that she is working and going to school says allot, It is so hard to make ends meet today and now they are making it even harder for her. Go punish someone else who deserves it and leave this woman alone. Be glad she has enough sense to want her children to be safe, I suppose that is a crime too.
    Some laws need changing.

    September 2, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • jnova

      OH BS..She knew she'd done wrong
      There are so many HONEST people trying to get an education for their children..

      September 2, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • guest

      Wow. . . perhaps you should go back to school for spelling and grammar. Allot? Run on sentences? This is just painful to read.
      Why do you suppose she is a single mom getting no child support?

      September 2, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Priya86

    Look out! A woman trying to make sure her kids are educated and safe. Sounds like felon material to me.

    September 2, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. why not

    this case is disgusting! Our elected officials get away literally with murder and this poor woman is trying to do the best she can for her children and gets a sentence like this! something so very wrong with our judicial system....

    September 2, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      The jury weighed the evidence and followed defective instructions.
      Legally defective instructions.
      You see, in law, there is a thing called jury nullification. Where the jury finds by moral choice over the statute, hence, nullifying the law.
      But, it's illegal for a judge or attorney to tell the jury of that fact.
      That said, some states can have the judge overrule the jury, a dangerous practice, as it erases the entire purpose of the jury. So, any jury that nullifies SHOULD remain in court as an observer and raise merry hell of the judge tries it, up to and including contempt of court.
      Let's see how a court withstands the press getting hold of a story where an entire jury is cited with contempt after the judge discarded their decision. Even money, the court would change its mind or need a new courthouse.

      September 2, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Marty rogers

    absurd. No question this is selective prosecution...and felonies? are you kidding me? for trying to protect her children? and Casey Anthony walks? absurd and cruel. bunch of sour old racist creeps

    September 2, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • immobee

      you know, casey anthony did not walk. have you read the news??? she's still in trouble.

      September 2, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • immobee

      you can only prosecute what you can prove. You think you know the whole story about what she did or didn't do. You only know what the media wants you to know. Maybe she did it... Maybe she didn't. Fact is, there was not enough evidence presented for a jury to convict. So I'd say the odds are she didn't do it.

      September 2, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. jean

    This is so sad

    I just love her she just wanted the best for her kids

    God bless her

    September 2, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. indyfan

    Don't they anything better to do than beatup on working families in OHIO ????????

    September 2, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carol

      Have you read the article? She was given more than one opportunity to change the outcome of this situation. She continued to lie and deny any wrong doing.
      She admitted in court that she resides in Akron yet a mere two weeks BEFORE the hearing, she used her father's address as her residential address when she renewed her driver's license.
      She is a BOLD FACE liar who broke the law. And too stupid not to take the opportunity to get out of the situation she got herself into.

      September 3, 2011 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
  8. vij

    If you visit overcriminalized dot com then you'd realize what American System stands for when it comes to prosecuting people. In many countries and civilization she'd have been adjusted in the system or expelled but not go this far. A country without proper civilized ideas how to correct a person and make a better person out of him.

    September 2, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  9. why not

    ok. if it were the same two bodies of people who convicted Casey Anthony and this lady I would understand the racist comments; however, no one knows the race of the people who convicted this lady so please let's not throw out the race card before there is even an ounce of evidence of such.

    September 2, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dave D

    I think she needs to be strung up in the public square....buck naked. Plus, horse whipped for about an hour. And, I'd volunteer to do the whipping...for FREE!

    September 2, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Cyrus

    Banks steal billions, no one goes to jail. A mom lies to put her kids in a better school, she gets two felony counts. I am starting to get the picture.

    September 2, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • peggy

      Amen Cyrus

      September 2, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Summarex

    This woman isn't a criminal. The criminals are the government and the government officials abusing her. The real question to ask her is. Why isn't anyone in her community raising hell and threatening war over this cowardly attack upon a woman who wanted to put her kid in a better school. Looks to me like they're all too busy playing nice for the sake of Obama.

    September 2, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  13. jim466

    This is just another case of the absurdly self righteous destroying another's life so they can feel important.

    September 2, 2011 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Steve

    wow...not long ago there was a mom in the news who killed her daughter and then blatantly lied about it (and many other things). I seem to remember that she got acquitted. Outrageous that this lady is being convicted over trying to do what's best for her kids.

    September 2, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sriram Gopalan

      I request the Government and Law makers to take this woman's (Kelly Williams-Bolar) case study and free her. The school for a child should be defined where the child lives and not her mom. Is there any law which says child should not live with his/her grandparents? The women in this case study is a single mother, and we need to praise her as she made sure that her child is safe with her parents and getting a good education where the child is living. Safety is a must for everyone, and as she cannot take care of the child when she is out to her work, and she might not have enough money to get a baby sitter for her child. She only made her child to stay in her parents and thus the address of the child is her parent’s address which is not illegal. Now if she is placed behind bars, where will her child will live, and in which school her child will have education. The government has release a women who has a direct role in her child’s death (Casey Anthony case), and the same government has placed a women behind bars who ensured that her child is safe (Kelly Williams-Bolar). This incident will surely affect each and every mother in this world and I want every mother to support/work towards her release and bring a law if needed.

      September 3, 2011 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Craig S.

      Quit crying "RACE", people. You don't do anything to help your own cause. By law, I have the right NOT to integrate with you.

      September 4, 2011 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
  15. yeltzin

    This was an economical issue – not a safety issue, furthermore the school with the free tuition is likely worse in quality and safety. It might indeed be a race issue but not the knee jerk assumptions. IE – Our grand daughter will be attending a school where most of the students come from single parent homes where most parents are also focused strictly on economy...free lunches etc and the school system is aq govt babysitter. She is an only child – quite gifted – know her abcs and has quite a vocabulary in english and german at 21 months of age. Wife and I wish we could register her in the schools where we live which are coincidentally majority white, but are well known for their superior quality, but if we did that – even though there would be no monetary gain you can bet we would not be given a 5 yr suspended sentence and would probably be forced to liquify our assets just to pay the fine.

    September 2, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
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