DOVER (WJER) (February 18, 2022) – The mayor has vetoed City Council’s plan to bring back three employees he fired. Mayor Rick Homrighausen is also moving to intervene in those employees’ appeal of their terminations before the State Personnel Board of Review.
In filings with the review board, Homrighausen claims Council’s settlement with the employees is unenforceable, unprecedented, illegal and a “not-so-subtle attempt to contravene” his authority. He claims Law Director Doug O’Meara has a legal duty to represent the mayor but instead is exposing Homrighausen to legal liability.
O’Meara, who is an elected official, says he represents the city.
“The law anticipates there will be times when the interests of the people of Dover, its Council and its administration can vary,” O’Meara said. “I’ve made it crystal clear from the word go that I represent the city of Dover in this matter, and I don’t represent the mayor.”
Homrighausen fired the three employees in December.
The settlement approved by City Council claims Homrighausen terminated them as retaliation because they reported potentially unlawful actions by the mayor.
Homrighausen, in his filings, says he fired the employees “due to a loss of confidence in their ability to perform the essential functions of their positions.”
O’Meara says the matter before the state review board shouldn’t impact City Council’s plan to return the employees to their jobs.
Council members unanimously agree on bringing the employees back, so they’ll likely override the mayor’s veto after waiting the required 10 days.