NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (March 30, 2022) – Dover’s embattled mayor made his first public appearance since a grand jury indicted him on 15 criminal charges.
It was earlier this afternoon in the courtroom of Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court Judge Elizabeth Thomakos, where Richard Homrighausen was arraigned on the charges:
“One count theft in office, a felony of the third degree; one count having an unlawful interest in a public contract, a felony of the fourth degree; four counts soliciting improper compensation, misdemeanors of the first degree; two counts dereliction of duty, misdemeanors of the second degree; two counts filing incomplete, false and fraudulent returns, felonies of the fifth degree; and one count representation by a public official or employee, a misdemeanor of the first degree.”
The 8-term mayor is being represented by Attorney Mark DeVan of the Cleveland area, who spoke on his behalf.
“He has received the indictment more than 24 hours ago. He has read the indictment. He understands it, enters a plea of not guilty as to all counts. We reserve the right to challenge any deficiencies in the indictment.”
Homrighausen will remain free on his own recognizance but is required to remain law-abiding and cannot leave the state without the court’s permission. Thomakos also ordered him to limit contact with the state’s witnesses.
“At work, you communicate only by email and with business-related communications only with those individuals, and at council meetings that you are only having contact with them on the record.”
The Ohio Auditor’s Office conducted the investigation that prompted the charges and is also prosecuting the case. The indictment alleges that Homrighausen pocketed over $9,200 in fees for 231 weddings he officiated, money that should have gone to the city. A pre-trial conference between the judge and the attorneys will take place on April 18th.