Mary Alice Reporting –
The question on whether to lift holds on three cases was brought before Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Judge Michael Ernest.
Richard Homrighausen appeared in court related to the civil cases against the City of Dover and three employees, who had been let go from office before being rehired. The three cases had been stayed pending the outcome of criminal proceedings.
During Monday’s status hearing, the judge questioned Attorney Jonathan Downes, Homrighausen, and attorney for the city Delores Garcia on if the cases should have the stay lifted or if it should remain.
Downes represented Homrighausen in the first case, asking the court to keep the order in place due to an appeal.
“If there’s going to be an appeal, it will be filed very soon. If it is filed then believe it is in the best interest of all parties that this matter remain dormant until such time as that appeal is effectuated.”
Garcia recommended for the court to proceed since Homrighausen kept receiving pay and remained his mayor title until the felony sentencing related to the theft in office and dereliction of duty charges.
“The substance of this case really relates three public servants who were wrongfully terminated. They have an interest in finality here. I think that’s an interest that’s really significant.”
On two of the cases, Homrighausen represented himself and asked for the stay to continue.
“Contesting the resulting settlement agreement because I wasn’t made aware of those proceedings. The three employees were my appointments and they were at-will employees, so there was not an illegal discharge of those employees.”
Judge Ernest took the arguments under consideration and stated he would make a final ruling at a later date.
Meanwhile, on the criminal sentencing, Judge Elizabeth Thomakos filed a clarification entry noting that “the court finds that the judgment entry on sentencing did not stay the disqualification, which has been in effect since the adjudication of guilt was journalized on November 18, 2022″.
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