Kelley Williams-Bolar, the black mom who went to jail for falsifying an address so her kids could get better school districts, is speaking out about actress Felicity Huffman’s 14-day prison sentence for paying $15,000 to rig her daughter’s SAT scores.
“My eyebrows kind of went up,” Williams-Bolar told TV station WKYC.
Felicity Huffman at the John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse on April 3, 2019 in Massachusetts | Photo: Getty Images
Huffman is one of the dozens of wealthy parents and individuals busted earlier this year in a nationwide college admissions scandal.
Williams-Bolar got 80 hours of community service and two years’ probation, but she refused to judge
The “Desperate Housewives” actress, who pleaded guilty on May 13, paid $15,000 to have a proctor change the answers on her daughter Sophia’s SAT exam and disguised the bribe as a charity donation.
(L-R)Sophia, Georgia, William H. Macy, & Felicity Huffman at the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 6, 2019 in California | Photo: Getty Images
Williams-Bolar, on the other hand, is an Akron, Ohio mom whose crime was using her father’s home address so her two daughters could attend school in the Copley-Fairlawn district, a higher-performing district.
In 2011, Williams-Bolar was found guilty on felony charges of records tampering, according to WKYC, and then-Ohio governor John Kasich later reduced her charge to a misdemeanor. She spent nine days in jail.
Speaking to WKYC, Williams-Bolar recalled the first time she caught wind of Huffman’s case. “When it first ran across my timeline, my eyebrows kind of went up,” she said. “I was shocked a little bit.”
In addition to her jail sentence at the time, Williams-Bolar got 80 hours of community service and two years’ probation, but she refused to judge Huffman’s 14-day jail sentence.
“Her 14 days being fair. …I cannot be the judge of that, and I wouldn’t judge her for that,” the Ohio mom added.
“Initially, you know, she [Huffman] didn’t get anything and they were gonna let her go and that’s when they said ‘In the case of Kelley Williams-Bolar, we must have some kind of equal justice here.’ We have flaws and they need to be addressed, and this situation here was a case in point.”
"I have no regrets seeking a better education for him [her son], I do regret my participation in this drug case."
"If a poor single mom from Akron who is actually trying to provide a better education for her kids should go to jail," Rosen argued. "There is no reason that a wealthy mother with the resources should not also go to jail."
Felicity Huffman & husband William Macy exit the court after Huffman’s sentencing on Sept. 13, 2019 in Massachusetts | Photo: Getty Images
The controversy surrounding Huffman’s case had also brought to fore the case of Tanya McDowell, a black homeless mom who falsified an address so her son could enroll in an elementary school.
It was initially reported that McDowell got a five-year prison sentence for larceny in relation to the falsification, but PEOPLE clarified recently that McDowell also pleaded guilty to selling drugs.
At the time of her sentencing, however, McDowell reportedly said in court: "I have no regrets seeking a better education for him [her son], I do regret my participation in this drug case."
The public has since pointed out differences in the punishments meted out to Huffman, Williams-Bolar, and McDowell, citing it as another example of the unfair justice system.
Meanwhile, besides spending 14 days in jail, Huffman will also have to pay a $30,000 fine, complete 250 hours of community service, and be on supervised release for one year.
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