"An Ohio mother of two was sentenced to 10 days in jail and placed on three years probation after sending her kids to a school district in which they did not live. Kelley Williams-Bolar was sentenced by Judge Patricia Cosgrove on Tuesday and will begin serving her sentence immediately. The jury deliberated for seven hours and the courtroom was packed as the sentence was handed down. She was convicted on two counts of tampering with court records after registering her two girls as living with Williams Bolar's father when they actually lived with her. The family lived in the housing projects in Akron, Ohio, and the father’s address was in nearby Copley Township. Additionally, Williams-Bolar’s father, Edward L. Williams, was charged with a fourth-degree felony of grand theft, in which he and his daughter are charged with defrauding the school system for two years of educational services for their girls. The court determined that sending their children to the wrong school was worth $30,500 in tuition. - Dr. Boyce Watkins
As punishment for doing everything in her power to keep her children safe, Ms. Williams-Bolar, a single mother with no previous criminal record, has been made a felon by Ohio judge Patricia Cosgrove. In addition to jail time, a large fine and probation, Ms. Williams-Bolar's felony conviction has also robbed her of her future.
"'Because of the felony conviction, you will not be allowed to get your teaching degree under Ohio law as it stands today. The court's taking into consideration that is also a punishment that you will have to serve.'' - Judge Patricia Cosgrove
Although Ms. Williams-Bolar had nearly completed her education to become a teacher, under Ohio law felons are not permitted to teach. She has been robbed of the opportunity to elevate her life and the lives of her family through her own hard work. She has been handed what equates to a life sentence for attempting to protect her children. In a time of overwhelming economic disadvantage for so many US citizens, are loving single mothers like Williams-Bolar truly the enemy our court system should be making examples of in this way?
Ms. Williams-Bolar's attorneys are currently preparing for an appeal. Please sign this petition to let Gov. Kasich know that you do not feel that Kelley Williams-Bolar's punishment appropriately fits her crime, and that you both support and demand a full pardon.
In addition to jail time, a fine and probation, Ms. Williams-Bolar's felony conviction will prevent her from using the education she had been receiving in order to become a public school teacher. She has been robbed of the opportunity to elevate her life and the lives of her family through her own intelligence and hard work- the alleged "American Dream." Judge Cosgrove has essentially handed Ms. Williams-Bolar a life sentence for attempting to protect her children in ways that her government and community have failed to do. Considering the overwhelming economic troubles affecting so many US citizens, loving, hard working single mothers like Williams-Bolar are not the enemy our court system should be making examples of in this way.
The sentence handed down by Judge Cosgrove is ridiculously severe and overwhelmingly inappropriate. According to Ed Holland, superintendent of Cuyahoga Falls schools, fraud of this sort is committed by "three or four families a year" in his district, and those disputes are resolved without filing appalling criminal lawsuits like this one. Kelley Williams-Bolar's punishment in no way appropriately fits her crime, and I urge you to issue her a full pardon.