Councilman pleads guilty to OVI charge


Delaware City Councilman Cory Hoffman plead guilty Thursday to a misdemeanor charge of operating a vehicle while impaired (OVI). With the guilty plea, Hoffman was issued a $375 fine; sentenced to three days in jail, the minimum sentence for a first-time offender; and his license was suspended for one year.

Hoffman was pulled over and cited by Delaware County Sheriff’s Deputy Chris Hartzler on April 13 and was arraigned on the charge on May 2. He originally plead not guilty during the arraignment, and a jury trial was set for May 24. Had Hoffman maintained his plea of not guilty, a visiting judge and special prosecutor had been assigned to the case due to his status as an elected city official.

The OVI marks the second time in as many months that Hoffman has found himself in an unfavorable position. In March, a complaint was filed against Hoffman to the Delaware Police Department by development firm D.R. Horton after Hoffman sent a series of emails and voicemails to the company alleging “unscrupulous” employment practices against his ex-wife, Megan.

In the messages, Hoffman leveraged his position as a council member in calling into question the ability of D.R. Horton to do future business in the city. D.R. Horton is currently working to construct the Park View subdivision in Delaware. In the first voicemail Hoffman sent to the firm, he can be heard questioning “why should we, as the city, continue to allow this development to go on” given what he felt was the improper treatment of its employees.

The complaint led to a lengthy discussion by City Council during its March 28 meeting, after which council voted to send the complaint to the Ohio Ethics Commission for further investigation.

During the meeting, City Attorney Natalia Harris said no timeline can be given on how soon a decision could be returned by the Ethics Commission. On Thursday, Harris declined to comment on the updated status of the investigation.

Despite the tumultuous past couple of months, Hoffman said he intends to remain active in his role on council “unless my colleagues feel otherwise.” Asked if he’s received any indication his fellow council members intend to take disciplinary action against him, Hoffman said, “So far, no, although things can change.”

The threshold for which council members can discipline and/or expel a fellow council member is, to say the least, ambiguous. According to the Delaware City Charter, “Council may, with the consent of at least five members, discipline its members for disruptive and disorderly behavior that obstructs the administration of Council business, violations of the Delaware City Charter or Codified Ordinances, or ethics violations.”

At the time of this article, council members have held no formal discussion on the status of Hoffman.


By Dillon Davis

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Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.

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