A WAOD reader (DROCK)emailed me about this case almost two weeks ago before it blew up on the national stage. Since then I have been waiting for the response from the prosecutor about why she was charged with a felony for falsifying documents in order to get her daughters into schools in a district they were not zoned for.
"An Akron woman was sentenced to 10 days in the Summit County Jail, placed on three years of probation and ordered to perform community service after being convicted of falsifying residency records so that her two children could attend Copley-Fairlawn schools."
This story is from ohio.com. A black woman was credits away from getting her teaching degree, and now she is a convicted felon for trying to send her kids to a better school. I know she lied and needed to be punished, but the punishment does not fit the crime. Her life is ruined. People with drug convictions get off on probation with no felony charges. Since you are an attorney, I know you can break this down as far as her crime and punishment and the law. DROCK
Thank you DROCK for your confidence in my ability to "break this down." :) So here it goes....
Today I don’t want to talk about educational reform, because that’s what’s convenient. That discussion is a red herring. Sure, school choice appears to be at the center of this case, but it ain’t.
Occupational hazard, I’ve been waiting for the prosecutors to respond to the public uproar. They haven’t. That should tell you something. What does it tell you? That they are going after a much bigger fish. Williams-Bolar appears to be collateral damage.
In June 2009, the late Chief Justice, Thomas J. Moyer, threw out Williams' appeal, which was based on his claim that his home was incorporated under his wife's name as the Elizabeth Williams Group Home Inc.
Williams and his daughter were indicted by county prosecutors on the theft and tampering charges on Nov. 2, 2009, court records show.
On Jan. 10, two days before the joint trial began in Cosgrove's court, Edward Williams filed notice of a civil rights action in the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.
Williams and his daughter had asked Cosgrove to delay their trial as a result of the filing, but the judge denied the request.
Walsh, Summit County Assistant Prosecutor Michael Cody and various Copley-Fairlawn school officials were named in the federal civil rights filing. Source
Now this ALL makes more sense.
High profile examples of women being collateral damage when prosecutors are after the men in their lives Kimba Smith, Lea Fastow, and Monica Lewinsky.
This case isn’t about school choice. This case is about a woman being prosecutorial LEVERAGE.
Y’all are running around having a debate about education, but she didn’t get charged with a felony because her daughters went to nicer schools, she got charged with a felony because her Daddy is a “problem-child.”
But , what about education???? More than happy to have a discussion about school choice, but in this case, that’s just a distraction. It like saying the reason the feds were after Al Capone is because he couldn't use Turbo Tax properly.
I’m more interested in the prosecutors motivation for moving forward with a felony as opposed to a misdemeanor. There is more to this story, otherwise, the prosecutor’s office would be out there defending their decision, but they aren't so that means something else is more important... getting Williams-Bolar's father. He's not helping matters by running around giving idiotic statements like "She didn't send them to the neighboring district to get a better education"
Update: 11 a.m. EST, Jan. 26, 2011 Edward Williams, Kelley Williams-Bolar's father, called to clarify that her decision to enroll her children in the suburban district had nothing to do with the academic quality of the school and was because of safety issues. Williams-Bolar's house had been broken into and she'd had to file 12 different police reports due to crime in the area, he said. Enrolling the children in the district where her father lived was a safety-based decision, and Williams wants to dispel any rumors that it was based on academics. Change.org.
WHAT??? How is he being helpful to his daughter?
I have tons of other questions too, like why didn't her defense attorney file an immediate appeal and ask that she remain out on bond pending that appeal. The worst damage was done. She lost her liberty. You can appeal now all you want and maybe get the felony conviction thrown out using the same arguments that Genarlow Wilson used in Georgia about cruel and unusual punishment. It will probably be easier, however, to have the governor of Ohio issue a pardon.
Irony of ironies, the father might benefit from the uproar over his daughter being jailed.
Hope this helped DROCK