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Dover Chemical seeking sanctions against city, law director

| August 14, 2023

NEW PHILADELPHIA – Dover Chemical is now seeking sanctions against the city of Dover and its law director, accusing the city of withholding evidence and the law director of using his cell phone to illegally record a conversation after he left the room.

The city and the company are embroiled in bitter lawsuits over an electric surcharge the city added to Dover Chemical’s bill in 2021.

In the latest filing from Dover Chemical, the company’s lawyers demand the city pay the costs to re-depose Law Director Doug O’Meara, Mayor Shane Gunnoe, and others. They say the city withheld a key document. Document_Motion for Sanctions

They claim O’Meara derailed a previous deposition by recording it with his phone and leaving the recorder on when it was just the company’s attorneys in the room.

The city’s attorneys had not immediately responded.

In past filings, the city’s attorneys have called Dover Chemical’s filings in the two-and-a-half-year-old lawsuit “frivolous,” “baseless,” and a waste of the court’s time designed to drag out the process and increase the city’s costs. City of Dover response

O’Meara seemingly predicted this contentiousness when he recommended the surcharge in 2020.

“If we get sued, there will be a lot of things that happen when we counterclaim,” O’Meara said at the time. “I mean, the gloves come off when you go to court.”

Judge Elizabeth Thomakos is overseeing Dover Chemical’s complaint and the city’s counter claim. She is scheduled to oversee a bench trial on Jan. 24, although lawyers have suggested an extension.

The winner presumably getting about $1.1 million Dover Chemical would have paid the city by now if the surcharge went into effect back in 2021.

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