Jan 27, 2011

Via BlackAmericaWeb:
An Akron, Ohio mother of two was released from jail Wednesday after serving most of her 10-day sentence following a conviction on charges she tampered with records so her daughters could attend a school in a better district.

Judge Patricia Cosgrove of the Court of Common Pleas ordered Kelley Williams-Bolar to the Summit County Jail in a sentence that began on Jan. 18, according to court documents reviewed by BlackAmericaWeb.com.

Wednesday, following a request from family and friends, the judge allowed the 40-year-old Williams-Bolar to be released a day early, said the Rev. Lorenzo Glenn, an Akron minister who has been assisting the family.

"You have not because you ask not, so we just asked," Glenn told BlackAmericaWeb.com. "When the judge called me, she said Kelley would be released in 40 minutes. Instead, she was ready to go in about eight minutes."

Still, Williams-Bolar has to fulfill other requirements of her penalty. She must perform 80 hours of community service and will be under court supervision for two years, as a result of the Jan. 15 jury verdict.

Williams-Bolar is a single mother who worked during the day as a teacher's assistant with special education students in the Akron public school system. After work, she was attending college, preparing to become a teacher.

Williams-Bolar lives in an Akron public housing community. She wanted her daughters to attend school in the Copley-Fairlawn School District so that they could be safe with an adult while she pursued her degree.

"She just wanted her children to be safe, just like any other parent would want," her father, Edward L. Williams, told BlackAmericaweb.com. "This is not about the school. She just wanted her children in a safe environment."

Her father's address was used as the girls' home address in a school system that has been cracking down on out-of-zone students.

The elder Williams, who lives in the Copley-Fairlawn School District, was also brought up on charges of defrauding the school system of two years of educational services for the girls. School officials have estimated that those services were worth about $30,500 in tuition.

The jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on Edward Williams' charges, and Cosgrove declared a mistrial.

Tuesday, Williams said the family was coping with the situation as best as it can.

"People in the community still are in shock," Williams said. "They can't believe something this stupid happened."

Some groups are meeting to discuss strategy for a response to the situation, he said. "I don't know why they decided to prosecute my daughter."

Glenn said Williams-Bolar's record should be expunged.

"We don't know why they decided to prosecute her, and we certainly don't know why they wanted to charge her with a felony in this case," Glenn said. "If this felony remains on her record, there are at least 325 jobs she would be excluded from."

Currently, the family doesn't have a lawyer. The attorney who represented them during the trial has moved on, Williams said.

Williams-Bolar's daughters, now ages 16 and 12, stayed with Williams while their mother was in jail, he said. They stopped attending school in the Copley-Fairlawn district before the start of the 2009 school year.

Williams-Bolar is not the only parent accused of enrolling students out-of-zone in the Copley- Fairlawn district. School officials testified that there were 30 to 40 similar cases during the same time Williams-Bolar was investigated.


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