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Homrighausen ordered to reimburse Dover for suspension pay, wedding fees

| October 9, 2023
Former Dover Mayor Richard Homrighausen appears at a court hearing last year.

NEW PHILADELPHIA – Former Dover Mayor Richard Homrighausen has been ordered to reimburse the city $77,802.06 in compensation he received while suspended from office last year.

Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Ernest issued the ruling Friday.

He will also tack on reimbursements for wedding fees Homrighausen collected during going back almost 30 years. Ernest has scheduled a Nov. 2 hearing to determine how much more that’s going to cost the former mayor.

Dover Mayor Shane Gunnoe, who replaced Homrighausen, says the city’s attorneys believe it’s around $30,000 for wedding fees dating back to the 1990s.

“[The ruling] is a validation of the city’s legal defenses that we’ve put up throughout this process,” Gunnoe said. “Our first concern was to both do right by our municipal employees who were terminated and then returned to work via the settlement agreement, and also protect our taxpayers’ interests.”

Homrighausen was suspended from May to November of last year after he was indicted for theft in office and other charges. A jury convicted him of that offense and several others in November, costing Homrighausen the mayor’s job.

Homrighausen had sued when he was still mayor, arguing against a settlement agreement that returned to work three employees he had fired. Ernest dismissed that complaint Friday, saying since Homrighausen is no longer mayor, he has no standing to pursue that claim.

Dover countersued for the salary and wedding fee reimbursements, and Ernest ruled in the city’s favor Friday.

Both sides had asked Ernest to issue summary judgments to resolve the cases. A bench trial had been scheduled for November 2nd, but that will now be a damages hearing.

Homrighausen, meanwhile, is appealing his criminal conviction. His attorney did not immediately return a message.

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