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September 7, 2011

Ohio Governor Kasich grants clemency to help mom who fraudulently registered school kids

As detailed in this local story, "Gov. John Kasich today gave a 'second chance' to an Akron mom jailed for fraudulently switching her children to a neighboring school district where they didn’t live."  Here is more:

Kasich approved gubernatorial clemency for Kelley Williams-Bolar, reducing her felony conviction to a first-degree misdemeanor.  The clemency was approved despite a unanimous negative recommendation from Ohio Parole Board, which decided she was "wholly undeserving candidate.”

In a statement, Kasich said, “When I first heard about this situation, it seemed to me that the penalty was excessive for the offense.  In addition, the penalty could exclude her from certain economic opportunities for the rest of her life.  So, today I’ve reduced those felony convictions to what I think are the more appropriate, first degree misdemeanors.  No one should interpret this as a pass — it’s a second chance,” said Kasich.

The commutation has strings attached: Wiliams-Bolar must report to the Adult Probation Department, pay a $20-per-month fee, and abide by the department’s regulations; refrain from “ offensive conduct of every nature and obey all laws”; serve 10 days in the Summit County Jail, with credit for one day served; complete 80 hours community service; do a mentorship program with the NAACP or her church; maintain permanent full-time employment and/or attend school; not consume illegal drugs or alcohol; submit to “random and frequent urinalysis testing,” and pay the cost of prosecution....

Williams-Bolar, 41, spent nine days in jail early this year after being convicted of falsifying records by using her father's home address to enroll her daughters, Kayla and Jada, in Copley-Fairlawn schools.  In fact, she and her daughters, now 17 and 12, respectively, live 2 miles away in the Akron city school district.

She said she wanted clemency so her record could be wiped clean, allowing her to pursue her goal of becoming a teacher of special-needs students.  She could have trouble getting a teaching certificate with felonies on her record.  The Parole Board last week issued a sharply worded decision disputing all of Williams-Bolar’s clemency arguments, calling her deceitful, and suggesting she faced problems no worse than "any other working parent."

This official press release provides all the details of Gov. Kasich's clemency decision in this high-profile case.

September 7, 2011 at 09:38 PM | Permalink


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A lot of time and money could have been saved had the school run the offense by the Gov initially.

Posted by: Jim Brady | Sep 8, 2011 8:03:24 AM

Congrats to my NKU-Chase College of Law colleague David Singleton who represented her.

Posted by: Michael J.Z. Mannheimer | Sep 8, 2011 8:41:14 AM

Did Singleton attend NKU-Chase College of Law AND Harvard ?

Posted by: Jim Brady | Sep 8, 2011 9:00:44 AM

The time between OPB's 8-0 report and the clemency was uncommonly brief.

The former felon was not enroute to "the gurney".

If an elected executive branch servant perceives that a crime ought to be a misdemeanor rather than a felony, she or he ought to seek a seat in Ohio's General Assembly.

Three of the eight board members are attorneys, totaling nearly 48 years experience as lawyers.
– -
→Admit Date—Law College
►0056066—Cynthia Mausser
→11/18/1991—Case Western Reserve University
►0072255—Ellen Venters
→11/20/2000—Capital University
►0063686—Jose A. Torres
→11/14/1994—Catholic University of Puerto Rico

The POWER of a governor to so soon grant clemency is not questioned.

IMLO, surely it is fair to question the wisdom of the rationes decidendi used to overrule the 8-0 recommendation of the OPB.

☺ I have insufficient information to opine whether the report was written beyond ones (who apparently has little "skill in the science of law"*) ability to understand; therefore I shall refrain from opining. ☺

* apologies to the late Justice Sutherland

Posted by: Jim Brady | Sep 8, 2011 9:54:56 AM

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