Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Update on Kelley Williams-Bolar Case

Yesterday I posted about the inexplicable felony prosecution of Kelley Williams-Bolar for sending her children to schools located in her father's town (back at the home house as some of us would say) of Copley rather than those located near her home in Akron Ohio. Here is additional information on the case:

Ms. Williams-Bolar, according to the Akron Beacon Journal, had moved her children in with her father after her apartment was burglarized.

Additionally, negotiations with the school district seemed to indicate that the matter had been settled.  Judge Patricia Cosgrove stated she had tried to get the Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh to reduce the charges to misdemeanors.  During sentencing Judge Cosgrove seemed to imply she wanted Ms. Williams-Bolar's current teaching assistant credentials suspended and any future full teacher credentials denied.  Judge Cosgrove, who is an elected official (as is Prosecutor Walsh) stated in  in today's ABJ:

The judge said the Ohio Department of Education will hold a hearing and make the final decision ''whether or not they will revoke her license.  I have nothing to do with that as a matter of law. Once she was convicted by a jury of any felony, that conviction has to be reported to the state, and then it's up to the state at that point in time to decide whether or not they're going to revoke her license,'' Cosgrove said. ''This is the Ohio legislature who wrote this law, not [this] court.''

Cosgrove said her reading of the statute leaves open the possibility Williams-Bolar can be a teacher ''because she was not convicted of an offense of violence [or] offenses of moral turpitude.'' Because Williams-Bolar had no previous felony record, Cosgrove said she will write a letter to the state Board of Education asking that Williams-Bolar's license not be revoked.

''I will do everything I can, as far as sending a letter, asking them not to consider it,'' the judge said.
Cosgrove also indicated she would consider expunging the felony conviction if Williams-Bolar successfully completes a minimum of six months of probation.

''I suspect she will,'' the judge said.

You can sign a petition at Change.Org but for my Akron Ohio brothers and sisters who may be reading this, remember, elected officials come, and elected officials go.  I'm happy to come home and campaign for whoever decides to run against Sherri Bevan Walsh.


  1. this is awful. i know you already know all the reasons, so i'll stop there.

    by the way, do you know that if this were happening in NY state, her lawyer would not have been legally required to know what the collateral consequences of that conviction were (e.g., no teaching license)? people plead guilty to things that can really screw up their whole lives, just because some legislator decided felons shouldn't be plumbers or what have you. (jess spent a few years on a columbia project to at least build an online calculator so it's possible to find out, but come on.)

  2. Truly awful. She did not deserve that kind of treatment.

  3. It's real cute how the judge is now trying to paint herself. "I'm not the bad guy, I'm actually rooting for her!" YEAH RIGHT.


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