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Kasich turns felonies into misdemeanors for Akron mom who lied about address
Governor says the punishment was excessive for the crime

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
Kelly Williams Bolar during her clemency hearing this spring.
Courtesy of Karen Kasler
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In The Region:

Gov. John Kasich is overruling the state Parole Board in the case of an Akron mother who lied about where her children lived  in order to get them into a suburban school district. 

Kasich used his clemency powers today (Wednesday) to lessen Kelly Williams Bolar’s conviction from two felonies to two misdemeanors. 

A Summit County jury had convicted Williams Bolar last winter on the charges of tampering with records.  Though she always maintained her concern was for her children’s safety as latchkey kids at her Akron housing complex, national advocates adopted her cause as a case for school choice and civil rights.

The governor asked the parole board to review the case. Last week, it recommended against clemency.

In overriding the board, Kasich said he felt the punishment was excessive for the crime and that Williams Bolar deserved a second chance.

Listener Comments:

Are you kidding me - this is not about race, this is about lying and bilking the system. Amoung her many, many lies, the women lied about being in the armed services for heavens sake. She was given many chances to fix the problem but seemed to believe the rules didn't apply to her. I say shame on the Govenor for buckeling under and not following the recommendations of everyone who was involved in this case who agreed on the punishment being correct.

Posted by: MG (Akron) on September 8, 2011 12:09PM
I think that this is a disgrace. The Parole board should be ashamed of what they did. They treated Ms. Bolar as if she was a hardened criminal, instead of a mother who only tried to do what was best for her children. You can't help but to think if Ms. Bolar had been white would she have been treated the same way. How sad is Our Country which is plagued with racism. A white mother is accused of killing her little innocent daughter and she is acquitted. A black mother is accused of not telling the truth for the purpose of placing her children into a safer school district and she is convicted of two felonies. This just does not add up, something is seriously wrong. This certainly appears to be a miscarriage of justice as well as excessive punishment. Instead of investigating Ms. Bolar Governor Kasich should be investigating the racist judicial system in the state of Ohio. GOD HELP US.

Posted by: M.J. (Georgia) on September 8, 2011 1:09AM
Ok, Thank you kindly Governor for reversing the racist school board decision! However, the warning is still inappropriate all things considered. Allow me to warn you about something, If you and other elected officials don't fix the disparity created in educational funding and resources between white citizens and people of color, this will happen. And even worse, there will be a reckoning. White supremacy created this unfair advantage through redlining, and mortgage discrimination. In shorts whites, were given mortgages and blacks were denied. Property taxes give white dominated schools the advantage in funding and resources. This, like many other things, is a result of systematic racism. So its not just about someone decieving the district. I would do it in a heart beat even if it meant doing some time to save my seeds. It is about Racism, something that America, Ohio, and Akron have never adequately remedied.

Posted by: ERIC WRIGHT (United States) on September 8, 2011 1:09AM
The governor who wants to severely punish honest public school employees by taking away ALL bargaining rights believes that Bolar should not be punished for stealing from a school district?

Posted by: jeremiah nehem (columbuse) on September 7, 2011 8:09AM
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