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February 8, 2011

Ohio's new gov urged to pardon mom prosecuted for school-enrollment fraud

As detailed in this local article, a number of "national political-activist groups have asked Gov. John Kasich to pardon Kelley Williams-Bolar, the Akron mother who spent 10 days in jail for fraudulently enrolling her daughters in a school district where they were not residents."  Here is more:

Three nonprofit political organizations -- ColorofChange.org, Change.org and MomsRising.org -- delivered 165,000 petition signatures to the governor's 30th-floor office in the Riffe Center yesterday.  They urged Kasich to pardon Williams-Bolar from felony convictions that could keep her from becoming a schoolteacher.

The pardon is warranted, said Iris Roley, a member of ColorofChange and chairwoman of the Cincinnati chapter of the NAACP, so that Williams-Bolar "can have a life and provide a good life for her children."

Kasich has expressed sympathy for Williams-Bolar's situation and directed legal advisers to look into it.  "We're still gathering facts on it," said Rob Nichols, the governor's spokesman.  "People feel passionately about it, and we're grateful to them for expressing their concerns."

Before Williams-Bolar can be considered for a pardon, either the governor or she -- or her attorney -- must ask the Ohio Parole Board to take up the case.  As of yesterday, no request had been made.

The Williams-Bolar case drew international attention after she was convicted of tampering with records to enroll her daughters, now 16 and 12, in the Copley-Fairlawn School District for the 2006 school year. The two girls attended the Copley-Fairlawn schools, where their grandfather lives, for two years, and their mother was indicted in November 2009 for falsifying records portraying the girls as residents of the district.

Williams-Bolar, 40, was found guilty on two felony counts and sentenced to five years in prison, but an Akron judge suspended the prison term and ordered her to spend 10 days in the Summit County jail....

During a news conference last week, Kasich used the Williams-Bolar case to advocate for open enrollment among school districts and for the legislature to approve additional school vouchers and charter schools so that more parents can choose the schools for their children.

February 8, 2011 at 09:00 AM | Permalink

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