Board moves: Supes try to shake Dumler

Supervisor Chris Dumler spent his first weekend in jail– only 14 more to go– March 8-10, while his fellow Albemarle supes are making plans to fill his seat, despite Dumler's insistence that he's not going anywhere.

In the six weeks since Dumler took a plea that reduced a felony forcible sodomy charge to misdemeanor sexual battery, the number of people calling for him to resign has grown to include city and county Democrats and all of his fellow supervisors.

A Scottsville District citizen is collecting signatures to take to court, just about the only way Virginia provides to get rid of elected officials, and says he has more than the 372 required, but is verifying that all signers live in Dumler's district.

On the Wednesday, March 13, day-long agenda are three Dumler-inspired items. First is a notice to limit public comment to 30 minutes at the beginning of the meeting, with the opportunity for the public to speak again at the end of the meeting. That's the result of an angry citizenry lining up to denounce Dumler and call for him to resign at every Board of Supervisors meeting.

"I'm not in favor of that," says Supervisor Ken Boyd, who openly urges Dumler to resign. "That was added by the chair and vice chair. It's not something I can support."

Some board members are concerned about the ability to keep meetings to the published agenda, explains county spokesperson Lee Catlin. "Some people come for specific issues. They take time off work. Board members feel it's important for the public to speak their mind, but the public gets shortchanged when the published agenda goes out of whack," she says.

In a show of bipartisan spirit, Democratic Chair Ann Mallek and Republican Vice-Chair Duane Snow also added to the agenda a closed session motion to remove Dumler from all appointed positions on boards, committees and commissions.

"I was surprised," says Boyd. "The email came from both of them."

Dumler has already stepped down from the jail and police advisory committees, and he currently serves on the audit and the fiscal impact advisory committees, the Rivanna River Basin Commission, the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission, and the Village of Rivanna Community Advisory Council.

There's no legal requirement supervisors serve on committees, says Catlin. "Obviously he loses the opportunity to directly engage with the people on them, but it does not in any way reflect on his ability to serve on the board."

"We can't exclude him from voting," agrees Boyd.

Finally, there's item 4 in the March 13 special meeting: "To establish a public process for appointing an interim Board member to hold office until a special election is held if a vacancy occurs on the Board." 

Dumler did not return phone calls from the Hook requesting comment about his fellow supes efforts to squeeze him out.

"I don't understand what Mr. Dumler is holding out for and what his ties are here," bemoans Boyd. "Arrogance?"

Well. That should be a cordial meeting. Public comment will be allowed at the 6pm regular meeting.


Boyd himself should do the right thing and agree to appoint an applicant who shares the views of Scottsville residents. The more he makes this issue about regaining control, the less open the process will be. Really, he has no right to ignore Scottsville. Dumler needs to go, NO doubt. BUT Boyd should not benefit politically.
Create an application process where anyone can apply. Interview all candidates and hold a public hearing. Appoint someone who holds the same views as Scottsville residents and agrees NOT to seek election in November.

"arrogance" is a good guess, but "sociopathy" is the the answer.

Oh, Ken Boyd. ‘Arrogance’ you say? If it counts as arrogance when you drool over having him gone and having your way with the board (what Bumler did pales in comparison to what you and your friends will do) I’d say, ‘Right back at ‘ya.’

Oh and BTW... having public input both before and at the end of a meeting is quite common in VA. It gives residents a chance to speak if something discussed warrants feedback. Most localities will permit speaking at the end for people who were late, and for those who have comments based on other factors. There is no reason to NOT support it. It gives the public more flexibility, depending on the language of the amendment to board procedure. And the actual language of the amendment that's what you need to look at

'Logical Conclusion', NO, NO, NO, NO, NO...

Nothing the GOP members of the board would do with even a 6-0 majority come close to the damage Dumbler has caused. I'm a Democrat and always will be, unless the Democrats insist on defending a sexual batterer because he has a 'D' next to his name.

Don't surrender your humanity to local politics.

There's no legal requirement supervisors serve on committees, says Catlin. "Obviously he loses the opportunity to directly engage with the people on them, but it does not in any way reflect on his ability to serve on the board.

Well, there it is..if there is no legal requirement for a supervisor to serve on these committees, what the BOS is proposing is all smoke and mirrors. How will this play into the judicial review?
oh btw--how many signatures were received in total on that petition? and how many from Scottsville District residents? just curious. live towards Scville and not many people talking about this at all at least in my neighborhood.

If Boyd had put as much effort into stopping the silt damage from his cronies building shopping centers up on 29 as he is trying to sink dumler, his own constituents in Forest Lakes wouldn't have a silt filled lake that they have to pay out of pocket to fix.

I hope his constituents are watching his actions which are hardly based on integrity. Boyd seems happy to metaphorically do to the people in Dumlers district what Dumler was accused of doing to the victim.
The board can remove him from committees but he can still attend any public meetings and should.
If the court gives him the hook so be it... that means the system works.

When ever other Supervisor and political party now agrees with Boyd on the importance of Dumler's removal it seems partisan to blame just the Supervisor interviewed for this article. The fact that republicans might gain as a result of Dumler's resignation is Dumler's fault- no one else's.
With a 3 v 3 board any resignation would benefit the other side. At least they have agreed to a public process to replace him and not some back room deal that was negotiated outside the public's view.

What we need is a package deal -- Scumler, Drag-ass and Boyd, all tarred and feathered and ridden out of town on a rail. :-)

We need some serious housecleaning! The arrogance around here has reached amazing and toxic levels.

Is Dumler arrogant? Yes he is, but the behavior he is exhibiting is sociopathic. Not saying he is a sociopath, but if it quacks like a duck, what is it?

meanwhile: I’m not a democrat, ‘meanwhile.’ Nor am I a republican. But I would be willing to bet I’ve been in this county a lot longer than you and I’ve seen a lot of good things disappear to ‘local politics’ mistakes that will never come back. My humanity is intact. The things I do to help humanity I do not feel the need to publicize, for my own ego or someone else’s. I believe in doing good deeds without fanfare so you’ll never know who to thank. I know well that I am not a deciding factor on Dumler. However, I’m also not arrogant enough to try to tell someone else what they should think. They’re entitled to their opinion just as well as I. The petition is in motion. To quote you, “watch what happens.” I hope the next time ALL these supervisors come up for re-election, we vote them all out. None of them have behaved in a particularly admirable way.

LC, what would have been admirable behavior in this instance? Saying nothing or asking him to resign on the day of conviction( it's probably somewhere in the middle). Vote them all out for a Dumler created problem? Really?

If your problem is that they politize the process, I think that expecting them not to is unreasonable and naive. There is no manual or history in dealing with this type of problem.
I would think that the result should be more important then the process. Not saying the process is unimportant but when you breaking new ground the process will never be smooth.

Yes - vote them all out because they played politics with a situation that shouldn't have been seen as political. Because this problem should have been handled without political gain involved. Mallek and Rooker should have spoken out immediately instead of waiting to see which way the wind was going to blow. Further, if a successor of the same party as Dumler had been sought and found, he might have resigned quickly. But, republicans saw a chance to gain power and the rest waited to see what the court of public opinion thought before they spoke out against Dumler.

Dumler is responsible for his own fate. But the Board of Supervisors could have behaved differently and this might have been over quickly. I know Dumler said he wouldn't resign, but if he had been offered a replacement from his own party to finish his term until November, he might have changed his mind.

Personally, I have a problem with the LAW. How can we allow this law to stand that allows convicted criminals to hold public office? This is what needs to be changed. This is the problem. The supervisors can't change it. They can do very little until the judge ousts Dumler or he resigns. And we're back to the beginning of the vicious circle. If the supervisors want him to resign, give him an alternative that he doesn't think will leave his constituents in a vulnerable position. If you don't he stays until this plays out. No one likes it. But it's happening, nevertheless.

If it is naive to think this shouldn't have been politicized, then it is naive to think Dumler should step down, because his motivations are just as political as theirs. He is a pariah - he stands to gain nothing by staying. He is staying because of the split. Don't expect him to do the "right thing" when the others don't, either.

Your assumption is that republicans can't have moral qualms and reservations about a fellow supervisor who was convicted of sexual battery. That's unreasonable, prejudice and shows more about your political beliefs than theirs. The republicans had the exact response you wanted Mallek and Rooker at the being but BECAUSE they are republicans you assume that their only reason for doing so is political.

You have ZERO proof that he would have resigned if given a democrat to replace him . There is nothing that suggests that in the press from Dumler. He hasn't stated any conditions that he would leave under. But even if he did agree to resign, it is also false that the only thing that matters is the party affiliation of his replacement. That is you, politicizing the process. Dumler was elected as a choice that included but was not exclusive of being a democrat.
Should we also have to pick a White male lawyer who is young with few ties to this community? All those factors are part of why Dumler was elected, as well as his stance on certain issues.

To boil it down to "just replace with a democrat" is so cravenly partisan that it eliminates about half of Scottsville from consideration. Wouldn't that be the definition of politicizing the process?

Admirable behavior would have been a public censure by the Board and a collective statement saying that he serves at the pleasue of the voters in his district and it is up to those voters to do what they will and that the Board will not politicize the situation for political gain.

Marginalizing him is a slap in the face to those voters.

Suppose he were convicted a week before the election and won in a landlside... would they still marginalize him? (if not then why not.. they claim to be judging his behavior because of their personal values not the wind of the public)

People talk about holding politicians to a high standard well THEY are the ones affecting decision making by shutting out the currently elected voice of his district.

When the Judge rules on the petitiion and decideswhere he stays or goes then that will be the process working. The way I read it the Judge is supoosed to decide whether or not his conviction shows that he can no longer be trusted to make ethical decisions for his voters and has the ability to carry out his tasks. The weekends in jail don't count because he could have been a reservist or an over the road truck driver. The dislike of his fellow Board members don't count because that is partisan politics. The opinions of those outside his district don't count because they are outside his district. So the Judge needs to see what really is going on within his district. I would imagine that the Judge will be fair and there is a good chance that he will be removed. Regardless of how the judge rules the proper procedures were followed and the system will have worked as designed. There is no need to change the law and make misdemeanors an automatic dismissal because sexual battery encompasses an awful lot of things that are too easily subject to false charges. Public servants need reasonable protections or good people won't run.

Earl collecting the signatures is pretty much the only one who is doing things ethically in the whole process.

I gotta ask: You are the one assuming. I am not assuming the republican response is political because of their response to Dumler's situation. I am assuming it is political because their actual STATEMENTS regarding replacing him were political. Their statements are what I judge as trying to gain political power because THEY SAID AS MUCH. Go back and check the statements by Ken Boyd and Rodney Thomas in the local press regarding a replacement for Dumler.

I never said just replace Dumler with a democrat - I said he might resign if offered a replacement from his own party. Then, again, he might not have. But no one tried. This might have moved this situation to a conclusion that would have gotten Dumler out and a replacement until an election could be held in November. He's the democrat. He's the one digging his heels in, not me. If he had been offered this solution, he MIGHT have resigned. There might not be this division that there is now. But then again, he's still there. There probably would not be an election in Scottsville until November - so if he is so repugnant to everyone, give him an out. Otherwise, deal with what you have because he doesn't seem inclined to leave until this plays out.

When you're up to your waists in alligators, the ones that refused to drain the swamp taste the same as everyone else, democrat, republican or independent.

No you're assuming that what you read is the only reason they ask for his dismissal. You have basically stated that republicans have only ask for Dumler resignation because of politics. But you must know be saying that Duane Snow ask Dumler's resignation out of indignation and not politics.

Could you explain how "I never said just replace Dumler with a democrat - I said he might resign if offered a replacement from his own party." makes a lick of sense. Is Dumler a member of another party that isn't democratic? He said he wasn't going to resign, why don't you go back a re-read that. And why would they offer him ANY input on his replacement?? His judgement has been called into serious question by everyone and you want him to be given a deal??? Whose morally bankrupt now?

Your comments are beginning to be indecipherable. May I respectfully suggest you argue with someone who understands jibberish and wants to engage you. “A lick of sense?” Who are you, Junior Samples? You are assuming things I did not say. I never mentioned Duane Snow at all. Now you’re telling me what I must know about him (oh- now I see you were trying to say ‘now’ but you spelled it ‘know’? Otherwise, it adds to the nonsense.) Did I ever use the term ‘morally bankrupt’? No, I didn’t, so who are you comparing me with when you say “Whose (should have been who’s, by the way- contraction of who is, not the possessive form which you used) morally bankrupt, now.”

I get it now. Study hall is probably almost over. Go back to school. You should pay more attention in English class - maybe government, too.

Your insults cut me to the quick. You didn't have to say Snow since you accused the other of playing politics and did not accuse him- it it is a reasonable assumption that you might not have a problem with him. Clear it up now- is Snow just a politician or could he -gasp!- have actually moral qualms about a supervisor getting a conviction for sexual battery?

You gloss over and ignore your logical quandary of why does Dumler get to have ZERO input on his successor. You're the one that suggested going to him with a deal might have been a good idea. I know it's difficult to for you to face any of you logically inconstant "I didn't say democrat" for example. Keep defending him till the last dog dies (another southern saying but not from Hee Haw - which might confuse you I know.)

As for school you're the one going for the PHD. Pile-it High and Deep

If there is an interest in preventing situations like this in the future then the law should be changed to allow for a recall vote in short order. (regardless of reason)

The problem with automatic dismissal for conviction of a crime isn't fair in that speeding 20 over is a crime. Getting in a fistfight with the neighbor over a barking dog where both sides press charges is a crime. The only fair way is for the people in town to have the ability to recall their elected representaive for whatever reason with a relativily large number of votes. It needs to be a very quick process with protocols so that it can all be done within 30 days, As the law stands, if Dumler had gone to court and sought a continuance he could potentially play that game until his time is up anyway. Especially if he appealed and was granted a stay of his expulsion until final judgement.

A recall could make it so that he could have been pulled from office simply by being charged ... as long as the voters wished it so. there would need to be a relativily high bar to make sure the losers in th election don't simply get recalls every time they lose but many other states handle it this way and Virginia could certainly see which states works best rather than reinventing the wheel.

It also might make politicians a little more accountable to the populace instead of the developers.

While the Dems and Goppers are fiddling, the pro-feminist Socialist Party of Central Virginia has also asked for Dumler to resign:

We're waiting for NOW to come to their senses, now that Dumler is no longer a Democrat (the Dems kicked him out BTW, or did you miss that? Replace him with whomever - just replace him!). No "group" risks anything any longer by asking "Independent" Supervisor Dumler to resign now. There is no down side. So Scottsville Chamber of Commerce, take a stand. Scottsville Town Council, take a stand. It's youe community that suffers from Dumler's reputation. Your reputation is being sullied. Take the high road. Not asking Dumler to resign shields him. Do you really want to shield a sex offender?

It sure is strange how long it took for Dems Rooker and Mallek to see the light. What it were their daughter that was the victim of their fellow Dem Dumler?

It sure is strange how long it took for Dems Rooker and Mallek to see the light. What if either of them had a daughter who was the victim of a sociopath like Dumler?

I'll be glad when Dumler is out, along with Mallek and Rooker, his former supporters. They only stopped supporting him because of public outrage, not because they are moral people themselves. They've proven they're not by their actions.

An earlier poster went after Dumler's current girlfriend and now Roger Vernout is going after his parents. When the sleeze in this community bubbles up, it bubbles up pretty high.

Oh, you’re so good and he’s so bad – what’s next? Do we take the Bible literally? No, don’t do that, let’s mark a big ‘M’ on his forehead for misdemeanor instead and everyone shame him when he walks by. No, instead, let’s all shame his parents, like they can do anything to about anything their adult son does. And let’s really get even with him by making a page on wikipedia so no one ever forgets what a horrible example of a person he is.

Yeah – that’s the ticket. After all none of us have ever made mistakes – that were so public at least. We are so much better and we should realllllllllly punish him for pleading guilty to something which we know absolutely no facts about except that he pled guilty to it. Yes, let’s all get whipped up in an emotional frenzy and really show him how unwelcome and ungodly he is and how we don’t want him here. Let’s become a big, ugly, scary mob to get our way.

Albemarle County, in trying to show your distain for Dumler you have shown your propensity for cruelty and intolerance. Involve his parents? Do you really think they can do anything? Shame on all of you who are a party to this. I know, from now on let’s all just hang out at the courthouse write down names and hound everyone who pleads guilty to anything – maybe we can get all those lawbreakers to leave our fair and wonderful county too.

The problem with being so high up on your high horse is that it really hurts when you fall hard. And you always do. Everyone is human. I just didn’t realize how perfect some of the people in this county think they are.

The petition is going through the legal system. Can’t you try not to bare your teeth and drool so much in anticipation of your daily feast on Dumler? This hatred has to stop. You’re even judging people for not immediately jumping on the blame bandwagon. Branding people who aren’t thinking the same as you as immoral. I’ve never seen Albemarle like this.

No offense, but what either one of these people claims happened that led to the woman pressing charges carries no merit with me. It’s all hearsay. The man has a misdemeanor conviction and his district voters are doing what they need to to get him off the BOS. The rest of you just act like hungry wolves waiting to tear him apart. You’re enjoying this. This gets more distasteful, not so much because of what happened with the case, but for how much all of you hate others for not siding with you, for writing wikipedia entries that look more vengeful than anything else, for involving his parents, you’re disgusting and I have to wonder why it was so important to hound him to resign immediately and not go through the process of letting his district have their say – the only reason for his immediate resignation seems to be gaining some political advantage. Otherwise, you would let the law take it’s course.

And don’t jump into details about what happened again. It’s all hearsay on both sides. All we know for a fact is Chris Dumler took a plea to misdemeanor sexual battery. That can be as small as touching someone on the behind without permission to as heinous as forcible sodomy. We don’t know the FACTS of what it was. There was no case and no sworn testimony. It has become emotional voyeurism and there has been enough. I have never seen people with so little reservation about judging their fellow men, their neighbors, for their beliefs as I have with this case. You’re just mean and vicious.

So get out your eggs and tomatoes, why don’t you? Oh, yeah, because then you would be pleading to a misdemeanor and we’d be camping out to run you out of town because we all know if we aren’t against lawbreakers we must be morally bankrupt.

I’m ashamed of Albemarle. Not because we didn’t succeed in running Chris Dumler out of office. Because we have become vicious, mean, hateful little people willing to believe gossip and hearsay and let mob mentality and emotionalism take us over. Call me whatever you will, but if Dumler isn’t resigning let the law do it’s job and accept it. Otherwise, you’re just a hate filled mob trying to circumvent the law and get your way. And that, my pitchfork and torch carrying friends, would make you no better than he.

The details of what went on between Dumler and this woman are only known by those two. So don’t tell me what you believe based on one story or the other. We need to regain level heads and base things on the FACT we know – Dumler’s plea to misdemeanor sexual battery. I don’t care to hear what you think he did anymore because it is hearsay, nothing more. When they accepted his plea, it was OVER. Whipping the residents of this county up into an emotional frenzy to immediately get rid of him was WRONG and raises a lot of questions. Let the law do it’s job. Let the residents of Scottsville control their destiny. Otherwise, you’re just a mob trying to force your will on them. Do this the right way.

Let cooler heads prevail. Listen to the actual fact(s), not your emotions. Let Scottsville’s petition go through the court. The ugliness isn’t forcing him to resign. The attacks on his family are a mob tactic. Scottsville will have their say in court. Mobs must not win by scare tactics, “Scarlet letters,” and brutality.

@sickened: You make some great points. The mobs are getting carried away.

Please understand, he's not being punished for the big M, but for HIS hubris, HIS arrogance and HIS continual denial that he actually did anything AFTER he plead guilty to the big M. If he had just resigned like every other politician with similar convictions, he would have NEVER gained this kind of notoriety. He brought this on himself, not so much by his crime(s) alleged or admitted, but by his lack of contrition and doing the right thing by resigning. He CHOSE to try his case in the Court of Public Opinion. What you read herein is that Court. What you see in the protesters actions and words is that Public Opinion. HE chose that route, NOT the mobs. HE did. HE should have just gone to court. This was HIS call. So before you lambaste the mobs, remember he CHOSE this kind of fight. He procured an ad agency to release his public statement(s). He went on a so-called "apology tour", hitting all the media outlets in a 2-day sprint. This is AFTER he plead guilty. So, call the protesters and others a mob, but we're the PUBLIC part of "Public Opinion". Live by the words, die by the words. He started it, the women will finish it!

Also @sickened: You didn't say one negative thing about Chris Dumler in your whole diatribe, all the while criticizing his critics and Albemarle County at large. I find it "interesting" that you're ashamed of the County, but not of Chris Dumler or his actions. Are you also ashamed of ranking Democratic Delegate David Toscano, the Director of SARA, the other 5 members of the Board of Supervisors, (former) Mayor Dave Norris, The Dems, The GOP, The Tea Party, The Socialist Party, Delegate Rob Bell, The Daily Progress, talk show hosts Coy Barefoot (liberal to moderate), Rob Schilling (tighty righty)...and on and on. Is THIS the mob to which you refer? They're lined up together on this one.

As regards the Court of Public Opinion and Mr. Dumler: I have a life coach. A strong independent woman. Her wise words: "If three people tell you you're drunk, lie down."

Here just one of the reasons given for deleting the Wikipedia attack article linked to above: "Delete, A nasty, vindictive piece of work, which brings shame on the whole of Wikipedia. I can see nothing worthwhile in the whole page." It was most likely created in the first place by someone who has posted comments here several times.