Ohio chief resigns while facing felony charges over alleged attack on neighbor and his dogs

Lorain Assistant Fire Chief Matthew Homolya had been on leave since March


Heather Chapin
The Morning Journal

LORAIN, Ohio — After 24 years of service to the Lorain Fire Department, Assistant Chief Matthew Homolya decided earlier this month to leave his post.

Homolya, 45, of Brownhelm Township, resigned amid a legal battle in the Lorain County Common Pleas Court where he is facing felony charges regarding an alleged attack on his neighbor as well as the man's dogs.

The city had a private meeting on Aug. 9 with Homolya, said Lorain Fire Chief Chris Radman.

Shortly afterward, Homolya's union president brought Radman a "very brief" resignation letter from Homolya, Radman said.

The Lorain Professional Firefighters Local 267 represents the fire department.

"No reason was given" as to the reason for Homolya's resignation in just over 24 years at the department, Radman said.

The city placed Homolya on administrative leave after the alleged assault in March.

Homolya could not be reached for comment.

On March 9, Lorain County sheriff's deputies investigated the incident involving Homolya's 50-year-old neighbor and his two German Shepard dogs, the Sheriff's Office said at the time.

The incident was captured by the alleged victim's video surveillance system which was given to the sheriff's deputies during the early stages of the investigation.

On June 27, authorities executed a search warrant to obtain any deleted footage from the surveillance system, according to documents filed in Lorain County Common Pleas Court.

The surveillance system, Ring LLC, which was named in the search warrant, was ordered to keep the information confidential, according to the document.

The warrant allowed deputies to search for any deleted media footage in the 8000 block of Gore Orphanage Road in Brownhelm Township, where the assault allegedly occurred, according to the document.

Homolya pleaded not guilty April 28 to an indictment of aggravated burglary, cruelty to companion animals, assault and failure to confine dog on premises.

Homolya was released from jail shortly after his arrest on a $10,000 bond, which remains in place.

Common Pleas Judge Raymond Ewers is presiding over Homolya's case.

Homolya has had several pre-trial hearings.

On June 29, Homolya asked the court for a continuance due to the ongoing process of collecting discovery, or investigatory records, pertaining to the case, court records stated.

In the latest court action, also filed Aug. 9, Lorain County Prosecutor's Office filed subpoenas, or witness summons, for records held by the Amherst Animal Hospital as well as the Cleveland Clinic and Mercy Health Lorain in connection to the case, according to court records.

Homolya's next pretrial hearing is scheduled for Aug. 31, records show.

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(c)2022 The Morning Journal

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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