2:55 p.m. - Singleton says it would have been easier if Williams-Bolar would have said that it was all about getting a better education for her daughters.
"But that wasn't the truth. This was about the safety of her daughters."
Singleton says that prosecutors and the judge "made a big deal" about her college credits. "That's not in the category of criminal mistakes or getting something she's not entiled to. She just got it wrong."
2:54 p.m. - "We've had discussions about what she could have done differently ... with the benefit of hindsight, she wouldn't have made any of these mistakes," said Singleton.
Singleton is explaining that all they're trying to do is show why she did the things she did.
2:48 p.m. - In closing, Williams-Bolar attorney David Singleton says the state's presentation was very selective. He specifically mentions phone call recordings that he says were taken out of context and the fact that Dr. Phil said he hoped that Williams-Bolar gets some relief.
2:31 p.m. - The board is taking a 10-minute break before closing statements are made by each side.
2:29 p.m. - Kelley Williams-Bolar moved to the back of the room when prosecutors began their presentation. She seems to have no reaction at all when Gessner or Burnside make claims that go directly against her statements.
2:26 p.m. - The assistant prosecutors are asked about an affidavit from Williams-Bolar's trial attorney that states he offered a plea arrangement involving lesser charges.
"They never came to use with a global resolution including misdemeanors," said Burnside.
Burnside says "global resolution" refers to resolving legal matters involving both Kelley Williams-Bolar and her father, Edward Williams.
2:22 p.m. - Gessner is asked if there was any attempt to resolve the situation with Williams-Bolar without prosecution. He says that the office is not set up that way and that almost simultaneously received a complaint about her father. He also says the prosecutor's office must honor the law and cannot make deals that would essentially ignore illegal activity.
Teri Burnside says there were numerous discussions with defense attorneys after Williams-Bolar was indicted.
2:14 p.m. - Upon a question from the board, Teri Burnside explains that not only can Williams-Bolar's record be expunged three years after her entire sentence has been served, but that the judge agreed to consider allowing her to be released from probation early, which would "start the clock ticking" a little sooner.
2:12 p.m. - Gessner says that granting a pardon sends the wrong message.
"She cannot be exempt from the law. Please do not send the wrong message by recommending a pardon."
2:05 p.m. - Gessner is trying to show the Ohio Parole Board that the "pattern of deception" continued after Williams-Bolar's conviction. He's showing a document in which her own attorney believes she's a full time university student. Gessner says Williams-Bolar has spent more than $70,000 in grants and other subsidies on education since 1988 and has not yet graduated. She's classified as a senior, but is apparently not close to obtaining a degree.
2:02 p.m. - The board is now hearing recordings of phone calls the include Kelley Williams-Bolar when she was in jail. In the calls, Williams-Bolar talks with her parents about using the experience to make money, including charging a fee for interviews and making a movie.
"Ladies and gentleman, Ms. Bolar does not deserve a pardon."
2:00 p.m. - Gessner is showing a city of Akron crime map that shows her home (which he emphasized was not in the projects) is located in an area that had medium to low levels of crime. He also said that police reports involving her home subsequent to the January 2006 break-in were follow ups to the break-in. He is also showing another "Dr. Phil" moment, where the talk show host says that Williams-Bolar needs to own up to some of her decisions.
1:51 p.m. - Gessner is telling the board that, thanks to media coverage, Williams-Bolar was painted as someone who wanted her daughters to have a better education. Gessner says Williams-Bolar was prosecuted because she refused to cooperate in any way.
"This was not selective prosecution. If she would have decided to tell the truth at any time, this case would have stopped."
1:47 p.m. - Gessner is telling the board that there were 48 similar cases in the Copley-Fairlawn district. All 47 were resolved, not that involving Williams-Bolar. The board is also reviewing the sentence she received in Summit County Common Pleas Court.
1:41 p.m. - Gessner continues revealing what he has titled a "pattern of deception." The board is now seeing the envelope that containing an invoice from the school district where Williams-Bolar wrote "deployed." We're watching another clip from Dr. Phil - it's the one those who saw the show remember, where Williams-Bolar seems to lose her grip.
1:34 p.m. - Gessner is reviewing much of the material that led to Williams-Bolar's conviction, including showing screen shots showing where the woman signed government documents after completing them with false information, photos and video still shots that were used by Copley-Fairlawn schools to determine if Williams-Bolar was among those sending children to school who didn't live in the district. The board is also hearing audio from a residency hearing.
1:23 p.m. - Gessner is showing screen shots of Williams-Bolar's actual clemency application, and very short clep from the talk show "Dr. Phil," where she is asked if she broke the law and Williams-Bolar states, "No." Gessner says everything adds up to a pattern of deception.
1:20 p.m. - Gessner notes that Williams-Bolar's application for clemency only asks for a full pardon, not some of the lesser possibilities. He is reviewing the standards that must be met for a pardon.
1:17 p.m. - Gessner explains that Copley-Fairlawn receives a greater portion of overall funding from local property taxes because of the wealth of the district. School officials began an aggressive crackdown on people who were sending their children there, but shouldn't have done so.
1:13 p.m. - Summit County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Brad Gessner and Assistant Prosecutor Teri Burnside are beginning their presentation. Gessner says "much of the information" shared by Williams-Bolar today was as new to them as it was to the board.
Teri Burnside is reading a statement drafted last night by the Copley-Fairlawn Board of Education. It says that the district does not have the capacity or the legal authority to allow non-resident children to attend schools there. The board is asking that Williams-Bolar's case not be altered.
1:08 p.m. - A board member asked Attorney David Singleton what his advice is to Kelley regarding her driver's license. He turned to Williams-Bolar and said, "Kelley, change your license. Tomorrow." Singleton says there are some legal questions regarding whether a person can have two legal residences (Williams-Bolar maintains that her father's address in Copley is her permanent address, while the home on Hartford Avenue is her present address).
1:05 p.m. - Editor's note: a previous witness was mistakenly identified as Danita Palmer, when it was actually Ruby Flowers. Corrections have been made.
Danita Palmer, a co-worker at Akron Public Schools is now addressing the board. She's describing the type of work they do with special needs children.
12:58 p.m. - When asked, if it's okay to deceive. "It's never okay to deceive. Never." He's now making a biblical analogy in which a person was forgiven, or pardoned.
12:55 p.m. - Lorenzo Glenn, pastor at Macedonia Baptist Church is addressing the board. He has a history with Kelley Williams-Bolar's brother, she attends his church and assists with day care at the church. He's known her for at least 25 years.
He calls her character "impeccable." He explains that he hasn't seen her much in recent years until he attended her sentencing hearing. "She admitted to what she did wrong and I told her that that's part of healing."
12:20 p.m. - The board has called for a 15-minute break.
12:19 p.m. - Attorney David Singleton sounds like he's suggesting an offer to the Ohio Parole Board. In regards to the timeliness of the clemency request, he says he can see the value in offering a pardon with conditions that it takes place when probation has been successfully completed. There has been discussion that the board not only usually considers completion of a sentence, but also whether they've become productive members of society since then.
12:13 p.m. - Board Member Ellen Venters, calling it the "elephant in the room," wants to know if it was the media or Williams-Bolar who brought the issue of race into the equation.
"I've never said it was because I'm black. I can't answer that. I just know that my situation happened because of what I did not, hopefully not, because of the color of my skin."
Singleton says the media "took hold" of the case. "Kelley never tried to stoke that. She was always consistent and very clear that she didn't think race had to do with it. He says the media and a well known "social activist" tried to turn the story into one about race.
Reverend Al Sharpton did come to Akron and lent support to Williams-Bolar.
12:06 p.m.- Board Member Jose Torres wants more clarification on previous statements this morning by Williams-Bolar that she didn't mean to deceive anyone, when she has also admitted this morning to falsifying documents. Attorney Singleton says that this is not an innocence case and that everything needs to be put into context.
11:59 a.m. - Williams-Bolar is asked why she deserves a pardon before she's even done with probation. Among her statements: "Legally, it was wrong" and "I'm never going to be the same."
The board says the question wasn't answered. They want to know why now? Why not wait until after sentence is completely served, then approach board. Singleton already acknowledged that it was Governor Kasich who asked for a full parole board review. Williams-Bolar talked about being a productive citizen she started working at age 16. Her attorney tells the board that he doesn't think she can say any more about it.
11:55 a.m. - Attorney David Singleton is explaining that the circumstances in this case are unique and that Kelley Williams-Bolar is not trying to escape punishment - it's already been completed (other than community control sanctions). Singleton says a pardon goes open gates for the woman's future.
11:47 a.m. - When did Kelley Williams-Bolar renew her driver's license that lists her father's address as her own? A couple weeks ago.
11:43 a.m. - Attorney David Singleton intervenes upon related questions that it's hard to say how the felony conviction would impact current or future employment. He says it's not absolute that felony conviction means her job with Akron Public Schools is gone - he says there are some circumstances that would allow employment of certain felons. Singleton says she would not be able to be a home health aide, for example.
Mausser wants to know why they should grant pardon to help her with her career when she has not defined an exact career path and is not even enrolled in school.
"I want to go back to school," said Williams-Bolar.
11:37 a.m. - Board Chair Cynthia Mausser says she "can't connect the dots with Williams-Bolar's statements.
"What bothers me is that your response (to many questions) has been 'I didn't think of that.' You thought of no way to solve anything and we've probably thought about ten here." Mausser says there's a "disconnect" with Williams-Bolar's logic that sending her kids to the other district would make them safer.
She added that Williams-Bolar wasn't in class or at work most of the time after school, so could have been there to meet them after school, so afterschool safety issues wouldn't apply.
11:31 a.m. - Asked about what her daughters have learned through all of this ... "They have learned a lot, especially my oldest daugher. I've told her that mommy's made some mistakes," said Williams-Bolar, who then becomes emotional.
11:29 a.m. - More talk about the driver's license. Board Member Cathy Collins-Taylor explains that filling out a form with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles with false information is fraudulent and that the BMV does prosecute. Williams-Bolar acts surprised. "It is? That's fraud?" Collins-Taylor asks her if she did - after everything that's gone on over the last few months - renew her license again with the Black Pond address, which belong to her father. She answers that she had.
11:21 a.m. - Does the end justify the means? ("Through all of this, that was my main focus, to keep my daughers safe.")
11:20 a.m. - Williams-Bolar is being pressed on why she didn't drop the girls off with her dad to watch them while she was in school, which consisted of mainly evening classes ("I didn't think of it.") and what was she doing immediately before class (studying).
11:14 a.m. - Williams-Bolar is detailing that she is up to date or has completed everything ordered during her sentencing.
11:09 a.m. - Asked to clarify why she was willing to sacrifice safety of kids, rather than sacrifice her further education: "I didn't think of that." Williams-Bolar says she was thinking that if she could finish school, she could get a better job that would allow her to provide better and live in an area where safety was less of a concern.
11:07 a.m. - Board member acknowledges that a good person can do bad things, but more talk about the driver's license. Board Member Ellen Venters tells Williams-Bolar that she's "encouraged" because Williams-Bolar is saying some things today that she had previous denied, but told her "there's still some things we want to know that you're not telling us." After that, Williams-Bolar says she did change her driver's license a day or two after she was aware of investigation by Copley-Fairlawn.
11:01 a.m. - board asks if her intention was not to deceive, as she testified today, then why not just drop them off at school, rather than take them to a specific bus stop before and after school, making it look like she lived near that intersection. There was video of that action introduced at the trial ("There are nine months in the school year and those videos are over, what, 12 days?" She says the undercover video footage doesn't represent the whole story); did she try to work out a payment arrangement during a hearing with Copley-Fairlawn schools that was called after she ignored tution bills ("Looking back on it, I wish I would have told them about my situation, but I was scared when I saw an attorney and the superintendent and the treasurer."
10:55 a.m. - board asks Williams-Bolar what she told the jury during her trial about where she lives (she answers similar to before, saying that Akron is present address and Copley is permanent address).
10:52 a.m. - Board asks that if it's so unsafe there and after all that's happened, why does she still live there? (I'm still there now because I do not want to be a full time burden to my father. I've said before that I was independency."), why renew driver's license with wrong address when under investigation (she's saying the renewal was within the grace period and not related to investigation); why deserve pardon ("I feel it was never an intention to deceive or an intention to try to hurt anyone. I never tried to hurt Copley-Fairlawn schools. I made some mistakes. I never meant for it to spiral like this.")
10:46 a.m. - Williams-Bolar is asked to clarify her address (Hartford Avenue); board member wants to know why it says Black Pond on her driver's license (it's been that way for years); haven't you ever renewed it? ("Oh,yes. I just had it renewed."); then why does it say Black Pond on your driver's license ... it's an official document ("It's my permanent address. I'm there all the time. I'm there several times a day taking care of my father.").
10:43 a.m. - Kelley Williams-Bolar is asked about her status between when she moved in to the home (2004) and the break-in (2006). If their safety is the priority, why did you decide to go to school at night (she indicated that she thought she was doing the right thing), investigate latch-key programs, something at the YMCA or a church ("No, I'm not a real social person.").
10:38 a.m. - did you realize at some point that it wasn't right (speaking very softly, but talking about when she was questioned about the grandparent power of attorney ... "When I enrolled my kids, I knew that I didn't live with them every day."), on being dishonest ("I didn't feel I was being that dishonest, but wrong is wrong and I knew I was living on Hartford ... "), never thought about reaching out to neighbors for help or even just advice. (she thinks she's the only single mother in the vicinity and never asked for advice).
10:34 a.m. - Would you do it again? ("No, I wouldn't do it again. I love my girls so much and I would do anything to keep them safe.").
10:32 a.m. - Board asks if she looked into open enrollment (no), why she didn't ("I always fell back on my parents."), were the kids getting a good education at APS (yes), completed 80 hours of community service ordered in sentence (yes, at a Baptist church in Macedonia), why give parents power of attorney ("I was trying to keep them safe."), was this a case of selective prosecution ("No, I don't know, I don't think so, I've never really researchecd it.")
10:26 a.m. - Board asks impact on life regarding housing. Williams-Bolar says she had to inform AMHA that she now has a felony conviction.
"What I understand is that right now I'm okay to be there."
On going back to school?
Yes, she says, but she has not enrolled. She says that in many areas she would not be able to get a license, such as in social work. Attorney Jackson interjects that APS is allowing Williams-Bolar to keep her job, pending the outcome of this hearing and her appeal.
10:19 a.m. - She is being asked when the enrollment took place (Summer 2006) in regards to the break-in (January 2006). She says she hasn't been in school (The University of Akron) in about a year and has not yet been accepted into the college that offers the major she mentioned.
Could you have asked to move in with your father (who has a 5-bedroom home)
"Looking back on it, yes, definitely."
Board asks about the impact of the conviction on her life regarding employment:
"I've been able to keep my position with Akron Public Schools," said Williams-Bolar, who described that there was a hearing initiated by APS.
10:17 a.m. - Did you falsify documents for the purpose of sending your daughters to Copley-Fairlawn schools?
"Yes, I did," said Williams-Bolar.
10:16 a.m. - Kelley Williams-Bolar is answering questions by the board members. She considers her permanent address to be that of her father, but her Hartford address is her "present" address. Today, her driver's license states that she lives on Black Pond (father's home).
10:13 a.m. - She describes making the decision, after discussing it with her father (who lives in Copley), to enroll her daughters in Copley-Fairlawn schools. She says it never occured to her that may be illegal.
Williams-Bolar Attorney Angelina Jackson: Why did you get the power of attorney, change information on your driver's license, voter registration, etc.?
She responds that she had to keep her daughters safe.
"I am a senior. My major is child development and social work."
Why did you say you had 149 credit hours, when you really have 132?
"I made a mistake. Sometimes I'm not precise."
Why did you say you didn't make any money when you did actually have income (in regards to free/reduced school lunch program at Copley-Fairlawn)?
She responds that she made only $3,000 or less and didn't mean to deceive because she knew she qualified either way.
"If I could turn back the hands of time, I would have talked to the administration."
On remorse: "I hurt a lot of people. I hurt people I didn't even know. That's not who I am. I'm completely remorseful."
10:05 a.m. - Williams-Bolar is describing not only the aforementioned break-in, but another incident when someone was reportedly looking in her windows. She says it took police several hours to respond.
10:03 a.m. - Williams-Bolar, who started out very composed, became emotional talking about her daughters. "I've done things wrong, but I love my kids," she says through tears. "I would do anything for them."
10:01 a.m. - The woman who gained national attention for falsifying documents used to send her kids to a different school is talking about how much she loves working with special needs kids in Akron Public Schools. She is a teaching assistant.
10:00 a.m. - Kelley Williams-Bolar is speaking.
9:57 a.m. - "Kelley is like me because she cares about her kids more than anything." Bushner says Williams-Bolar often spends time with her (Bushner's) daughter. The board asks Bushner more about her children (one goes to St. Vincent-St. Mary High School and the other to Miller South), Williams-Bolar attorney to Bushner: Has your opinion of her changed? "No, it doesn't. Kelley is a good person. I don't judge and there's noone in here who can say they've never done something wrong. Her back was against the wall and she had to do something because she was terriried."
9:55 a.m. - Lisa Bushner, a neighbor is at the table. She is describing an incident when she came home only to be confronted by a man with a gun, demanding that she get inside the house - with him. The gun was on her and her husband, when the husband ambushed the gunman, who ran. She says it took police 20 minutes to arrive.
9:53 a.m. - Betty Morrisette, a friend of Williams-Bolar is speaking. "Kelley is a sweet, loving and protective mother." She also told the board that Kelley talked to her about her son, an electrician, and the possibility of installing an alarm system after the break-in. He was unable. She says her opinion of Kelley Williams-Bolar has not changed.
9:50 a.m. - Cox advised her to move to Columbus after the break-in. He says he "got the vibe" that she wouldn't leave her family in Akron. The board is asking him questions ... did he tell her to move in with her father (he didn't think of that), if someone asked you where she lives, would you say Black Pond, which is her father's street, or Hartford, which is her own (Hartford), does it change Cox's, a former Navy man, opinion of her when she falsely wrote on the envelope that she had been deployed ("Absolutely not.").
9:47 a.m. - Dennis is asked by attorney David Singleton about the 2006 burglary. "She was very upset." Is his opinion of her character different because of the school-switching? "She's always impressed me with wanting to go to school and being a great mother to her kids. I'm a product of a single mother and it's hard. What she does is phenomenal."
9:45 a.m. - Dennis Cox of Columbus, formerly of Akron, has known Kelley Williams-Bolar since she was 14 years old. They have always stayed in touch.
9:42 a.m. - a parole board member questions Flowers further about her statement referreing to moms wanting a good education for her kids. Flowers says she was really referring to herself and how she would have thought.
9:40 a.m. - Flowers is asked questions by the board ... whether she offered to help watch the kids, who live next door (no, never offered), how often she's called police (about three times in 40 years), how long she's known Williams-Bolar (all her life and neighbors since 2004), aware of issues at school that would cause her to "take her kids out of that school" (no, but says their age difference doesn't prompt too many discusses about school issues), Flowers's opinion of what she did to resolve the issue ("I wouldn't have done some of the things, but as a single mother of two living in the neighborhood that we live in and with limited resources, I understand."), could the girls have come to Flowers's house if there's a problem (yes).
Board to Flowers: Do you condone what she did?
"It's never okay to do the wrong thing, but sometimes as mothers we kind of go beyond that to make sure our children get a good education," said Flowers.
9:32 a.m. - Williams-Bolar voluntarily helps Flowers shovel snow, offered help of her and daughters in a litter clean up project.
9:29 a.m. - Flowers describes Williams-Bolar as someone who is like a niece. Flowers talks about the burglary and says Williams-Bolar called her after it happened. Flowers says Williams-Bolar's main concern was the safety of her daughters. They discussed ways to deal with it, such as use of security cameras. "You can't always count on the police to show up in our neighborhood."
9:27 a.m. - Ruby Flowers, who is retired from Akron Public Schools, is speaking. She describes Williams-Bolar's neighborhood as one that "is inundated with sex offenders." She lives in the neighborhood and describes herself as someone who is involved in the community. "I can't just walk outside and think that everything is going to be okay. It's just not safe anymore."
9:25 a.m. - Singleton to Wrinch: What's her character in regards to honesty? Wrinch: She's an honest person. When asked by Singleton, Wrinch says the fact that Williams-Bolar ignored bills from the school district and wrote on an envelope that she had moved overseas does not change Wrinch's opinion of Williams-Bolar's character.
9:24 a.m. Board member asked how old the children were at that time. "I can't do the math right now," said Wrinch.
9:23 a.m. - Board members are asking Wrinch whether someone was ever convicted of the burglary (no), how many evenings a week she attended class (not sure), how late she was out (10pm).
9:21 a.m. - "She's never been in trouble, never even had a speeding ticket.," said Wrinch. "She's just a sweet person."
9:19 a.m. - Friend of Williams-Bolar, Karla Wrinch, tells the board that "Kelley is a very good mother of her children. She loves her kids." Wrinch describes how upset Williams-Bolar was when her home was burglarized. She says Kelley was worried about leaving her kids alone while she was attending evening classes.
9:15 a.m. - Williams-Bolar attorney David Singleton says the "sole" reason his client enrolled her children at Copley-Fairlawn is because she feared for the safety of her daughters, who would have to come home alone after school. There had been a break-in at her home. Singleton says Williams-Bolar rejects and comparison to Rosa Parks or the notion that she sent her daughters to a so-called better school district.
9:11 a.m. - The hearing has been called to order. The board says their recommendation to the governor will come within 60 days.