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Homrighausen taking criminal appeal to Ohio Supreme Court, ordered to pay city in civil case

| March 1, 2024
Former Dover Mayor Richard Homrighausen is flanked by special prosecutor Robert Smith, left, and his attorney, Mark DeVan, during Homrighausen's criminal trial.

DOVER (WJER) (March 1, 2024) – There are some developments in court cases involving the city of Dover and its former now disgraced mayor.

Richard Homrighausen, disqualified from office after a criminal conviction, is taking his case to the Ohio Supreme Court.

A Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court jury convicted him of theft in office and related charges in 2022. The Fifth District Court of Appeals denied Homrighausen’s appeal earlier this year. Now Homrighausen plans to appeal to the state’s highest court.

On Feb. 22, Homrighausen’s attorneys filed a notice with the appeals court announcing his intention to appeal the case to the Ohio Supreme Court. They wrote, “This felony case is one of public or great general interest and raises substantial constitutional questions.” Homrighausen’s attorney declined to comment, saying the filing speaks for itself.

Civil case

Meanwhile, Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Ernest has ruled Homrighausen owes the city $28,355 for wedding fees he collected. The city wanted $43,630, but Ernest ruled there’s not enough evidence for that amount.

Dover Mayor Shane Gunnoe says he is satisfied with the total, but said he didn’t speak for Council, the law director, or the city’s lawyers.

“We are grateful to have a positive verdict and a significant win for the taxpayers of Dover,” Gunnoe said.

Judge Elizabeth Thomakos had already ordered Homrighausen to reimburse the city just over $9,000 for the wedding fees after his criminal conviction. Ernest says the penalties won’t overlap, so he is essentially tacking on $19,000, plus court courts, to the penalties already imposed in the criminal trial.

Ernest has also ordered Homrighausen to pay back nearly $78,000 the city paid him when he was suspended for the final months of his 30-plus-year tenure as mayor. Homrighausen could appeal.

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