Dover Mayor Richard Homrighausen acted like the Grinch on Tuesday, firing three of his city employees just days before Christmas.
The mayor, who has been the subject of a weeks’ long investigation by both city council for his physical and mental well-being, fired Service Director Dave Douglas, Safety Director Gerry Mroczkowski and his executive assistant, Eva Newsome.
“No reason was given, from my understanding, for any of the terminations,” said Dover City Council President Shane Gunnoe. “They just received a letter that said your services are no longer need”
All three of the employees he fired provided affidavits to city council as part of an investigation into the conduct of Homrighausen as Dover’s mayor.
“I find it disgusting. All three of those people testified in council’s investigation this year,” Gunnoe said.
Douglas had been a city employee since Aug. 26, 1996; Mroczkowski since Jan. 1, 2018; and Newsome had worked for Dover since Feb. 18, 2014, according to records.
“Those are the employees who had been doing most of the work and carrying the load, the last two years,” Gunnoe added. “It’s a shock, you almost run out of ways to describe how disgusted you are.”
Before the investigation, city council called on the mayor to resign from his position, citing a decline in his ability to lead the city. When he refused, the investigation was conducted. The investigation found people close to the mayor had concerns about his conduct. State and local agencies received the final report for review.
“With all of that information in mind, in my opinion, it reeks of retaliation,” said Gunnoe.