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Jury Returns Guilty Verdicts Against Dover Mayor Following Auditor of State’s Office Investigation into Pocketed Wedding Fees
For Immediate Release
Contact: Marc Kovac
Columbus – Dover Mayor Richard Homrighausen was found guilty Wednesday on multiple criminal counts following a jury trial in Tuscarawas County prompted by allegations that he pocketed wedding fees that should have been directed to the city, Auditor of State Keith Faber announced.
Richard Homrighausen was convicted on one felony count of theft in office, four misdemeanor counts of receiving improper compensation, and one misdemeanor count of dereliction of duty, following a four-day trial in Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court.
The Auditor of State’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) opened an investigation into Homrighausen after receiving an anonymous complaint alleging he improperly kept fees for conducting weddings as the city’s elected mayor, among other potential wrongdoing.
The investigation was conducted with assistance from the Ohio Ethics Commission. Members of the Dover City Council also investigated alleged “illegal and improper” activities by the mayor.
State auditors determined Homrighausen performed 231 marriages between January 2014 and May 2021 and received payments totaling $9,295 in cash and checks that he failed to remit to the city.
The trial in the case began Tuesday, Nov. 8, with the verdict Wednesday, Nov. 16. The jury found the mayor not guilty of having an unlawful interest in a public contract.
Judge Elizabeth Lehigh Thomakos has scheduled sentencing for Jan. 17.
Since 2019, the Special Investigations Unit has assisted in 94 convictions resulting in more than $4.9 million in restitution (Map of SIU Convictions Since January 2019: https://ohioauditor.gov/fraud/convictions_map.html). The team receives hundreds of tips of suspected fraud annually. Tips can be submitted anonymously online or via SIU’s fraud hotline at 1-866-FRAUD-OH (1-866-372-8364).
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio is responsible for auditing more than 6,000 state and local government agencies. Under the direction of Auditor Keith Faber, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies, and promotes transparency in government.