Mayor Homrighausen was offered plea deal before indictment
DOVER (WJER) (April 18, 2022) – A special prosecutor from the State Auditor’s Office in December offered Dover’s mayor a plea deal that would have likely preserved his pension and reduced the potential punishment he faces in a criminal indictment.
Instead, a grand jury indicted Mayor Richard Homrighausen in March on 15 criminal counts, including eight felonies. He has pleaded not guilty.
A conviction on the third-degree theft in office count could forfeit Homrighausen’s pension and possibly lead to jail time.
From the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System: “The court is required to issue pension forfeiture orders against the future benefit or ongoing disability benefit of a member under R.C. 2929.192 and 2929.193 for felony violations of the below offenses that are committed on or after May 13, 2008, by those serving in a position of honor, trust or profit: R.C. 2921.02 Bribery; R.C. 2923.32 Pattern of corrupt activity; R.C. 2921.41 Theft in office (third degree).”
Homrighausen has said he won’t discuss the case.
Dover’s attorneys have submitted the plea offer as evidence in a separate case where Homrighausen is the plaintiff, and the city is the defendant. They want to show Homrighausen fired three employees soon after receiving correspondence from the special prosecutor.
Homrighausen’s attorney Mark DeVan said in court he didn’t want it admitted as evidence. He said he didn’t want the case tried in the media.
“My concerns are the same as I voiced to the court earlier: a possible tainting of a jury in a criminal matter,” DeVan said.
WJER obtained a copy the plea offer through a public records request to the Tuscarawas County Clerk of Courts. The city’s lawyers also filed an affidavit from Special Prosecutor Robert Smith, authenticating the document.
A correspondence from Smith to DeVan dated Dec. 2, 2021, outlined the offer: Homrighausen resigns immediately, never runs for any public office again, pleads guilty to a second-degree misdemeanor of dereliction of duty, and the state auditor’s office doesn’t pursue any other charges related to his performance as mayor.
Homrighausen’s response is not included among the documents, but a Tuscarawas County grand jury indicted him three months later. He pleaded not guilty at an arraignment March 30. A telephone pretrial conference is scheduled for April 18.