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Governor reduces Kelly Williams-Bolar's charges to misdemeanors

By John Published: September 7, 2011

Over the transom from Columbus:

COLUMBUS - Today Governor John R. Kasich announced that he has used his executive clemency authority to reduce the offenses of Kelley Williams-Bolar from two third-degree felonies to two first-degree misdemeanors.  Williams-Bolar was convicted in January, 2011, of two counts of tampering with records, felonies of the third degree, for falsifying information so that she could send her children to Copley-Fairlawn City Schools instead of Akron Public Schools, the district in which she lived.

"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.

Kasich's commutation specifies that Williams-Bolar's sentence is reduced to not more than 180 days in jail-the maximum penalty for a first-degree misdemeanor-and retains the Court's conditions that all but 10 days be suspended, as long as she complies with the Court's original nine provisions:

  • 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 previously served;

  • Complete 80 hours community service;

  • Complete a mentorship through the NAACP or her church and write the Court a letter upon completion;

  • Maintain permanent full-time employment and/or attend school;

  • Do not consume any illegal drugs or chemicals, including any alcoholic beverages;

  • Submit to random and frequent urinalysis testing; and

  • Pay the costs of prosecution as directed by the Adult Probation Department.


Many people at the Beacon Journal have been writing about this case.
Here's the links to three stories I wrote looking into how the Williams-Bolar cases was treated differently by both the school district and the Summit County Prosecutor.

1. Williams-Bolar's own legal actions set wheels in motion

2. Misconceptions about the case.

3. Jail a rarity in tuition disputes.




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