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Dover law director keeps pressure on mayor as investigation drags on

| January 12, 2022
Dover Mayor Rick Homrighausen left listens to Law Director Doug O'Meara at the Jan. 10 Council meeting. (Bill Hammerstrom, WJER)

DOVER (WJER) (January 12, 2022) – The city’s law director continues to suggest improper conduct by the mayor as city officials wait for the results of an investigation by state authorities.

Law Director Doug O’Meara has said he expects charges soon against Mayor Rick Homrighausen. The State Auditor’s Office has confirmed an investigation and executed a search warrant at City Hall last week. It has refused to provide any related documents.

O’Meara forwarded the results of Dover City Council’s own investigation to state authorities this past spring.

“There is a certain frustration by everybody involved, including me, about the amount of time that due process takes in this country,” O’Meara said. “At the same time, everybody should be entitled to reasonable due process.”

Homrighausen has called O’Meara vindictive. He has repeatedly said he will not comment on any ongoing investigation.

Last week, O’Meara shared with the media the city’s pre-employment screenings for Homrighausen’s son. He says the documents, particularly the results of a polygraph test, should have eliminated him from consideration for a city job in 2013.

“The mayor has always been the ultimate authority on hiring and firing,” O’Meara said. “So he is the hiring authority and here he is, back in 2013, [he] had a copy of that polygraph in his hand and he still hired his son.”

Monday, O’Meara questioned Acting Power Plant Superintendent Jason Hall and Homrighausen about the city’s work with a company whose president contributed $20,500 to Homrighausen’s re-election campaigns between 2011 and 2019, according to campaign finance reports provided by the Tuscarawas County Board of Elections. O’Meara says the city has been paying the company about $140,000 per year for work at the power plant for more than 10 years.

Homrighausen declined to comment Monday night and did not return phone messages later in the week.

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