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Court dates set for Dover cases

| March 4, 2023

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (March 4, 2023) – The city of Dover has a trial date set in what officials hope will be their final legal battle with former mayor Richard Homrighausen.

Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Ernest, not a jury, will hear the case of Homrighausen versus the city of Dover in a Thursday, Aug.3, bench trial.

Homrighausen filed the civil complaint against the city in April 2022 after he was indicted but before he was suspended for and later convicted of theft in office.

Initially, Homrighausen was trying to block the city from reinstating three city employees he had fired. In court documents, his attorneys said the city’s settlement agreement with the employees usurped the mayor’s authority.

However, Homrighausen is no longer the mayor, so the city wants the case dismissed.

The city has also countersued Homrighausen for $78,000. That’s what it paid him while he was suspended between his indictment and conviction.

Ernest has referred the case to mediation, with a cutoff date of May 9th for a resolution.

Dover Chemical dispute

Lawyers for the city of Dover and the Dover Chemical Corporation will be in court Monday morning as their dispute over the company’s electric bill moves into its third year.

The 9 a.m. hearing is in Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court Judge Elizabeth Thomakos’ courtroom. She will consider the city’s request to dismiss some of Dover Chemical’s claims.

Thomakos recently issued a ruling in favor of Dover Chemical. She dismissed one of the city’s counterclaims that accused the company of civil theft. She wrote what Dover is accusing Dover Chemical is not a theft offense according to Ohio Revised Code, plus the statute of limitations has expired.

Dover Chemical initially sued the city in February 2021, claiming Dover illegally added an expensive surcharge to its electric bill. Dover countersued last year, claiming Dover Chemical owes the city for decades of illegally obtained electric services and equipment.

Both sides have made several claims against the other.

Dover Chemical has been depositing money it would have paid for the disputed surcharge into an account being held by the court. That account is now over a million dollars. A bench trial is scheduled for Jan. 24th, 2024.

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