DOVER (WJER) (September 16, 2022) -The city has come out swinging in its legal battle with Dover Chemical Corporation, and some of those punches are aimed at suspended Mayor Richard Homrighausen.
The city and Dover Chemical are at odds over a hike in the company’s electric rate that city council approved over a year ago.
Dover Chemical sued the city in February 2021, accusing Dover of illegal practices and the city law director of defamation. Since then, the company has been depositing the money it would have paid in additional electric charges into an account held by the court. That account is now over $700,000.
The city got some claims dismissed, including the defamation claim. The rest of the case is continuing in Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court.
Thursday, the city filed a counterclaim against Dover Chemical, claiming the company conspired with Homrighausen and wrongfully took electric equipment and services from the city.
The city’s attorneys accuse Dover Chemical of civil theft. They claim Homrighausen acted unlawfully and maliciously in breach of his duties and without city council’s approval.
The city is seeking costs, expenses, and damages from Dover Chemical in an amount to be determined at trial.
Homrighausen is not a party in the case. He is suspended from office because of a criminal indictment accusing him of theft in office, separate from the Dover Chemical case. A jury trial for the criminal matter is scheduled for Sept. 27.
Interim Mayor Shane Gunnoe referred questions to the city’s attorney, who says the city has no comment at this time.
“We look forward to continuing to vigorously defend the city in the litigation initiated by Dover Chemical and feel strongly that the facts and law support the city’s position,” Dover’s attorney Dolores Garcia said in a text message.
Dover Chemical’s attorney did not immediately return a phone message.