The father of Akron school-switching mom Kelley Williams-Bolar wants out early.
Edward Williams, 65, has served about half of his 12-month sentence for bilking the government out of about $100,000, although attorneys filed the initial paperwork asking for judicial release less than a month after he was sentenced.
While both sides offered brief arguments before retired Judge Ted Schneiderman, there was a particular component that raises eyebrows: A jailhouse phone conversation between Williams and his daughter, Kelley Williams-Bolar, that prosecutors say depicts them plotting to scam more money from the government. Specifically, according to Assistant Prosecutor Mike Cody, Williams proposes using his Copley Township home as a for-profit day care during daytime hours, but designating it as a non-profit group home at night in an attempt to avoid paying taxes on the property.
The conversation took place as Williams was waiting to be transported from the Summit County Jail to a state prison just days after his sentencing and about a month before Williams-Bolar appeared before the Ohio Parole Board.
"As the court is aware, he's an elderly man," said Williams' attorney, Job Perry, who cited health issues as one of the reasons Williams should be released early. Briefs filed with the court state that Williams has spent a lot of time in the infirmary and has suffered a stroke since entering prison, in addition to numerous other health issues.
Cody told the court that prosecutors and the judge who presided over Williams' trial already took health and age into account, with now-retired Judge Patricia Cosgrove handing him a 12-month stint, rather than the maximum 13 years. According to Cody, Williams has made his own health worse by refusing to take medication and to stop drinking alcohol over the years.
"To the victims in this case, I think he needs to get out and make restitution to make those victims and make those victims whole," said Perry. "We believe that a six month prison sentence is enough at this point."
The state also brought up Williams' prison record. There are six marks against his name, two each for:
- Not being where he is supposed to be
- Being disrespectful to prison guard, staff member or another inmate
- Being belligerent
Perry says those behavioral violations are minor.
Schneiderman says he'll listen to the phone call and weigh the other arguments before making a decision on judicial release.