Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Akron School Moms: Does It Swing Both Ways?

Get set for another wave of Kelley Williams-Bolar stories. We're going beyond "The Talk" and "The View" so the big gun can weigh in. It's Dr. Phil time -- just as another Akron mother heads to a stretch in the county lockup for faking her way to benefits undeserved.

The Dr. Phil Show lists Friday as showtime for it's program highlighting "How Far Would You Go For Your Kids?" It will include some of the faces, voices and names you are very familiar with at this point. From the Dr. Phil website - the highlights are strictly mine as noted below:

Friday - March 4, 2011

How Far Would You Go for Your

Would you risk breaking the law for your children’s education? What about for their safety? Kelley, a single mom, was prosecuted, convicted and sent to jail for listing her father’s address as her daughters’ residence, so they could attend a better school in a safer neighborhood. Kelley says she was working during the day and going to school at night, and after her house was burglarized, she wanted her children in a safer neighborhood for afterschool care. Kelley was convicted of two felony counts for tampering with government documents and spent nine days in jail. Did her punishment fit the crime? And, what other lies did she get caught in? Joining the discussion are Reverend Al Sharpton, columnist Bob Dyer, Kelley’s attorney David Singleton and a fellow single mom in the same school district. And, meet a mother who made her 15-year-old son stand on a street corner wearing a sign that declared his 1.22 grade point average and read “Honk if you think I need an education.” Is embarrassment a good parenting technique for motivating kids?

- - -

Once again, the "better school" argument. Time and time again the point is raised -- even by Williams-Bolar -- this wasn't about "better schools." Time and time again, the selling point used by newspapers, columnists and commentators uses "better schools" to hang their arguments on. At least Dr. Phil's producers added some balance with the Beacon Journal's Bob Dyer. Advance plug: followers of this case will want to shell out for Dyer's column Friday and a likely addition Sunday. AkronNewsNow also provided producers with audio from some of our coverage, and in our conversations the Los Angeles-based staff seemed honest in their approach to focusing on facts. It's a shame the New York-based staff at CBS, ABC and CNN (among others) couldn't expend the same energy.

- - -

While the Williams-Bolar story draws the most attention, a somewhat similar case unfolded in a Summit County courtroom today that saw a mother sent to jail for falsifying records to collect benefits connected to her children. This case, I predict, will not garner the same attention from the thoughtful out-of-town media minds or the National Action Network. It doesn't quite fit the narrative they need for their own agenda.

From the Prosecutor's Office:

Valerie Ziemba, 41, of North Canton, was found guilty by a jury of Illegal Use of Food Stamps or WIC Benefits and Tampering with Evidence, both felonies of the third degree, and Theft, a felony of the fifth degree.

Valerie Ziemba falsified government documents to claim that her children resided with her in order to illegally obtain approximately $14,427 in food stamp and cash assistance benefits. The children do not live with her, but with their father.

Judge Thomas Parker sentenced her to pay restitution in the amount of $14,427 to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, four months of house arrest, two years community control, and to serve 10 days in the Summit County Jail.

Sound familiar?

Valerie Ziemba reportedly collapsed in the courtroom when the verdict and sentence were delivered. There likely won't be cries of racism here; Ziemba is Caucasian. It's unlikely we'll hear an outcry of support to free Ziemba, complete with calls to overhaul the food stamp program. Rev. Sharpton and the host of the truly-concerned probably won't be making a bee-line for Akron. Don't expect Governor Kasich to weigh in with a plea to the Parole Board to decide if she should get a pass.

Ziemba will be portrayed as a welfare cheat who lied to steal benefits we all pay for. Williams-Bolar was a residency cheat who lied to take benefits the taxpayers of Copley-Fairlawn paid for.

Ziemba needs an agent.


  1. The only difference in what you are saying, is the first mother, wILLIAms-Bolar did it to better her children, the second mother, Ziemba, did it out of selfishness. She didnt get the food stamps and turn them over to her children to help the ex-hubby out.
    you are making this into a racist thing. I am white, and even I can see the differebce here. STOP.

  2. Williams Bolar only did it for after school care. She didn't do it for the schools or to better her children. She also stayed in AMHA housing claiming 2 residences. She gets 2 residences while I am sure there are many families sitting on the waiting list for years waiting for a subsidized home to move into.

    Who remedies after school child care with changing school districts? Why not have the parents pick them up after school? They lived what, less than 5 miles away? This doesn't make her a role model.

    Both women took what they did not need to take. They are both selfish. Time for the law abiding, tax paying citizens of this country to tell all cheaters we are fed up with their nonsense.