Kelley Williams-Bolar, 40, was convicted of records tampering on Saturday of using her father’s address on school forms to get tuition-free enrollment for her two daughters.
Williams-Bolar and her father, who was accused of helping her deceive officials in the Copley-Fairlawn schools for two year, were also facing grand theft charges but the jury didn’t reach a unanimous verdict.
The judge declared a mistrial on those charges.
Prosecutors said the children lived with Williams-Bolar in Akron, outside the Copley-Fairlawn district, but were registered using their grandfather’s address in the district.
Williams-Bolar is a single mother, and is only a few credits away from Graduating with a teaching degree at the University of Akron. Now that Bolar has been convicted of a felony, according to Ohio State Law, Bolar may not be able to teach.
Bolar was also working as a teaching assistant with special needs children at Buchtel High School and was caring for her ailing father.
Cosgrove said Williams-Bolar’s nonviolent felony offenses do not necessarily mean that she will lose her teaching certificate. Ohio law, she said, only states that a felony conviction ‘’may’’ result in such action.
Cosgrove 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.’‘
Since Williams-Bolar has no previous felony record, Cosgrove has 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.
She has followed through with that promise, addressing the letter to Deborah S. Delisle, the board superintendent, in Columbus.
‘’Ms. Williams-Bolar is a single mother with two children and has many good qualities,’’ the letter stated.
Cosgrove said she might expunge the felony conviction if Williams-Bolar completes a minimum of six months of probation.
‘’I suspect she will,’’ the judge said.