Dumler recall: Supe has (another) day in court

Albemarle Supervisor Chris Dumler, unshaven since he began spending his weekends in jail, appeared in Albemarle Circuit Court April 2 because of a citizen's petition to remove him from office.

Dumler and the petitioner, Keene resident Earl Smith, sat opposite each other on the front row in the courtroom filled with at least two dozen people who've appeared at supervisors meetings and publicly said they want Dumler gone.

Lynchburg Commonwealth's Attorney Mike Doucette, who was appointed special prosecutor March 27, said he was not ready to move forward on the case. Nor was Dumler's just-hired attorney, Jessica Phillips, who wants a motion hearing once Doucette specifies the grounds upon which the state law allows for removal of an elected official.

The rarely used Virginia statute allows a circuit court judge to remove for "neglect of duty, misuse of office, or incompetence in the performance of duties" that have a "material adverse effect" upon the conduct of the office.

Judge Paul Peatross set dates for upcoming hearings. Dumler's lawyer will move to dismiss the petition at an April 29 hearing; the case is scheduled for trial May 20.

Doucette told the judge he was handling a similar case in Sussex County. According to news reports, citizens launched a recall of Sussex Board of Supervisors chair Rufus Tyler, who is accused of altering the minutes of a special meeting in which the county administrator was fired.

After the five-minute hearing, Dumler came out of the courthouse with his lawyer, who declined comment.

As Dumler was surrounded by people holding "No sexual batterer on board" signs and a blown-up poster of him on the cover of the mugshot tabloid Crime Times, NBC29's Henry Graff asked Dumler how he was feeling. "I'm feeling just fine," said Dumler as he walked down the courthouse steps.

"Don't you wink at me," shouted an angry woman as he went by.

In other Dumler news, residents of the Scottsville district have been receiving a glossy 2012 annual report from Dumler touting his accomplishments last year, such as "nearly 1,000 meetings," more than 12,500 miles driven and the semi-monthly emails sent out to constituents.

The report now is a bit out of date as it lists the board committees from which Dumler has resigned, and does not mention his arrest for forcible sodomy in October,

The report notes that it was paid for by the "Dumler for supervisor campaign."

He writes in an email that he had about $3,000 left from his campaign and had been working on the report since last November. He notes that campaign funds can't be used for to finance personal legal expenses, "in case someone is wondering why I'm printing fancy reports while at the same time not being able to afford an attorney."

Says Dumler, "To my knowledge, I am the only supervisor who actively raises money for the purpose of keeping constituents informed about county business, a practice I've maintained since I was elected."


Chris Dumler's mailer piece is almost laughable. Nearly 1,000 meetings in a year? That would be 3 per day, for a part-time position as supervisor. I want to see his calendar. He claims to be a member of the steering committee of the Albemarle Democratic Committee who ousted him weeks ago. Eagle SCouts? He RETURNED that badge last year! The Charlottesville Albemarle Bar Association Young Lawyers Division? Not according to their web site. Stream Watch? He's no longer listed. And yet Dumler distributed these "campaign" brochures KNOWING that the information was incorrect and out-of-date. More lies from the man who said he couldn't comment about an "ongoing investigation" about his trumped up death threat, FIVE days before he actually even spoke to the Albemarle County Police Department about it, at THEIR request. Remember when he said the charges were brought against him by ex-girlfriends conspiring against him, and that he was innocent, and that he would mount a vigorous defense - THEN he plead guilty to Sexual Battery and apologized to his victim. So much for his innocence. This politician cannot be trusted. He cannot handle the truth, and the more he gets caught in his lies by the media, the more his constituents lose their trust for him.

He tries to say that his legal problems haven't effected his role as supervisor. Since his arrest, he hasn't had a single townhall meeting, his tweets have all but dried up, his official supervisor's facebook posts likewise, he cancelled all his appearances for 20 days after 2 days in jail due to his arrest, he resigned from all his boards committees and commissions so no meetings for those, no fundraisers, in fact, from weeks before his arrest through Dec 31, 2012, he raised NO money at all. This has been going on now for 6 months. For 4 months, he has to spend 28% of his time in jail, and a lot of time and money on legal defense, court-ordered psychologist visits...it just goes on and on. How can one claim his arrest and conviction and jail time has not caused him to neglect his role as supervisor? It's there in black & white, online, in the print media, broadcast on radio & TV. You can actually measure the negative adverse effect this has had on his job as supervisor.

Did anyone in the media pursue the death threat story? It seems to have come and gone with nary a whisper. I assume it was--in LE parlance--unfounded. Then how did it originate and, better yet, why?

R.I.P.: Frank Sutton

Cvillian, How sad your hatred has become. There is nothing wrong with you hating the guy and wanting him to resign out of contrition, but you are making a very pathetic case for removing him from office for neglect. Here is why:

1) Once a Supervisor is elected to a term they can do what they want and participate or not. That is the nature of the beast.
2) Facebook and twitter didn't exist a decade ago and Supervisors managed fine.
3) You say he is unavailable 28% of the time... well other Supervisors can go away for the weekends too. They can also work jobs or be Doctors or Volunteer Firefighters that can run out of a meeting at any time. When you run for office you are not joining special ops.
4) He was forced out of Committees by other Board members who acted unethically in doing so. some for political leverage others to save their own skin because we give votes to people like you.
5) Why does he need to raise money? Do you think he is running again?
6) Other supervisors I am sure go to Doctors visits . Court ordered or Doctor ordered is really none of your business.
7) Although he may have resigned from committeee meetings he can read the minutes and still communicate with people. You have no idea how many people he has or has not met with and have no right to presume to know.
8) The time and money he spends on his legal defense is irrelevant. Suppose a Supervisor was the plaintiff in a civil rape case and suing a Dumler for damages and was incurring the time and money losses from that? Should we remove THEM from office?

You are mad that the Prosecuter had to cut a deal and you want blood. You think the law is inadequate and instead of lobbying to get the law changed you want a judge to defy the law and take your word for it that he is not able to do his job because of your slanted commentary. Nope.

Hey Bill: "Hell hath no fury..."

You have said a lot of things as regards the Dumler situation, but so far none of your prognostications have come true. We'll see who gets the last laugh. By the way, Bill, who said I wasn't lobbying to change the law. There is already one legislator who will carry it to Richmond. Nickname is the "Dumler Bill". There are other legal surprises coming for Chris. Did you really think that Earl's petition was the last word?

Dear Cvillian,

I heard that the U S Army could actually try "Captain" Dumler for his crime, even though he committed it as "citizen" Dumler. One military man said it was not trying the same crime twice (he called that double jeopardy I think) because they were two separate courts or something and it's different if it's the military. A girlfriend of mine is a lawyer and she said that seemed correct. The Army would just be seeing if he should be kicked out or maybe even imprisoned, that they could do that, because he's an officer. Well, I thought he was an Army lawyer, so he would know what could happen to him. Is this what you meant by the petition not being the last word?

Dear Mr. Marshall,

My mother always taught me that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Perhaps if you didn't start out your comments with mean things to say about people and just make your point we would read them more carefully. I must say, calling someone sad and pathetic before you even make your point just makes me not like you and so I am inclined not to read your mean stuff. No one likes mean, so could you try a different way? I am sure that you are smart and have some good points to make, but bullying other commenters here turns us off to your comments and your cause. Thank you Bill.

Dear Virgina,

Thank you for your thoughts. My vitriol has escalated to match that of Cvllians attacks. I have said many times that I care not what happens to Dumler but I do care about the electoral process, due process and the protections of the voters in his district from vigilantis.

Just now she posted "hell hath no fury" leaving out the obvious rest of the line "like a woman scorned" and that is exactly my point. I believe that cvilillian is simply putting selfishness ahead of all the people in his district and is willing to let other Board members appoint a replacment of THEIR choosing so that Cvillian can extort a pound of flesh. Dumler is seeing a Court ordered doctor about his hatred of women who is Cvillian seeing about those manhating feelings that are so obviously boiling over?

Although I don't think it will happen, Ii the court removes him then I won't cry foul, it means the process worked. I have said that Earl did the right thing and I respect him for it. But I will keep hammering for the process because today it might be Dumler but tomorrow it might be someone going to jail for twenty years because he kissed the wrong girl who has a deep seated unchecked hatred for men and she wants to get even and wants to use the taxpayers and courts and jails to do it. We all deserve equal protection, not just under the law but from the law.as well.

Hey Bill, I didn't attack you, I criticized Dumler and then you attacked me. I never ever use ad hominem arguments to make my points. I never ever once said one mean thing about you. That's the difference between us. Vitriol at Dumler? Sure, that's fair, but at you, never. I have been respectful towards you and it would be nice to get the same. No need for you to stoop to my level of anger :)

For the record, I did not vote for the Teapublican who ran against Dumler. I do not hate men, and am hardly a feminist. I cook, I clean, I work for a living. People who know me say my greatest fault is that I'm too nice. I have a great relationship at home that works. I love animals. I'm the neighbor you want to have.

Bill, you fight a "legalistic" battle in these comments sections. This is more political than legal; more professional than personal. I understand the plea agreement and actually thought it was ok. What really got everyone angry was Chris Dumler's total lack of contrition, his mean-spirited attacks on his victims-turned-plaintiffs, his legal and political posturing. He took his attack machine public. The citizenry, including me, is attacking back. You don't like the arguments against Chris Dumler that we make because they don't fit your legal-eagle mindset. We're not coming from that mindset. If we were, we'd lose the fight, a fight we did not pick. Dumler started this, not us.

Cvillian I didn't say your vitriol was aimed at me I said I escalated to counter your vitriol.

I also simply rebutted your arguments that directly confict with your own self description.

You are entitled to your opinion about his lack of contrition but that does not make your arguments for removal any more valuable.

Other than resigning what else could he have done to show contrition in your eyes?

His apologies fell on deaf ears and he allowed his explanations attacked without rebutttal.

So other than resigning and moving back to the sticks what should he do? (have done?)

Cvillian, could you please explain why a "legal eagle mindset" is not the correct mindset to have regarding an issue that is before the courts? The courts are supposed to decide issues based on the law, not whether judges think their decisions will be popular at any give moment.

The ONLY reason any of the list of things that you claim in your first post above have affected Dumler in his role as supervisor have any relevance at all is that the law requires that certain criteria be met before an elected official is removed from office. You seem to be attempting to make the case that at least enough of those criteria have been met for the judge to rule against him. Dumler may be an a-hole (news flash, he's a politician), but I'm still not seeing that he has done anything that meets the standard of the law for removal-- "For neglect of duty, misuse of office, or incompetence in the performance of duties when that neglect of duty, misuse of office, or incompetence in the performance of duties has a material adverse effect upon the conduct of the office."

@not buyin it: Because this is also OUT of the courts too. It is political and social as well as legal. Again, you and Bill are always trying to corral Dumler critics into the pen of the courtroom. This issue is WAY larger than that. I may vaccilate between the legal issues, the social issues and the political issues. Please don't try to pen me in to a legal-issues only argument. It hasn't worked with Dumler critics, and it won't work now. You two, like Dumler, ignore the feelings of the victims and the public at large. That's your undoing, and his.

Cvillian, you can follow him around with a bullhorn offduty for all I care, just let him do his job. If he were an EMT would you follow him to crash scenes and harrass him while he is using the defribulator? Should the other EMTs hide his stethoscope?

If he worked for a hardware store and you wanted to boycott the store that would be fine with me but he does not and the Board cannot fire him. So why are you encoouraging them to punish the people in his district by marginaizing him and condoning the disruption of public meetings when in fact they people have technically done all they can do until a judge rules?

Your argument I addressed today was all the reasons you felt he should be fired by the judge and I addressed them because the process (for all of us) is more important than this guy will ever be.

I think that he has already been marginalized in the dating world. I don't think his mom is all that proud of her politician son and I am sure he won't be getting any invites from the league of women voters. The system is working as it should.

The legal and emotional arguments should be separate because the legal arguments are not about him as much as they are the people of his district who have a right to thiei choice (good or bad) representation without outside interference.

It seems the Dumler death threat story has gone the way of the Perriello gas link cut accusation. Nowhere.

And good luck finding a reporter in this town that follows up on anything outside of a 30-day span.

BOS Supervisor "promised" reporters in early January that he would make an announcement about his intentions to run by the end of that month - mid February at the latest. Do you think there was any reporter who followed-up with him when he didn't announce in February? How about March?? He finally announced today on April 3.

BOS Supervisor Dennis Rooker, of course.

BTW - TJPDC's Steve Williams is STILL serving as their executive director MONTHS after he said he would take another job and leave. Any reporter care to follow up on that one?

The media need to come down hard on the police as regards the Dumler death threat story. I heard it was a non-threat; that he heard gunshots near his house and thought someone was doing that to intimidate him (Leaked info of course). He reported it 5 days AFTER he and Cynthia Neff mentioned it to the press that it was the reason they cancelled his appearance at the February Democratic Breakfast. That was nearly 2 months ago. IF this story was trumped up - meaning false - and he just ginned it up to make an excuse for not going to the meeting (BTW, Cynthia Neff was the first one to break the story publicly, so I concur that he went along with it, (SOMEBODY PULLLEEEZ contact her about this!). When Neff was pressed the next day at the breakfast meeting, she completely back-tracked her death threat story and said it was because they didn't want the meeting to be disrupted by protesters. COMPLETELY different story. Something stinks, and the media need to press the police about this. Their foot dragging is just protecting Dumler. If there IS a death threat, then the public needs to know about it. Their public safety rights trumps some sort of lame investigation hands down!

If Drumler has resigned from committees on the BOS and has not attended meetings that that is negligent of his duties as a Supervisor. I'm just sayin'...

Personally, I didn't vote for him, not in my district and I don't like the man at all but I also don't know the man either. However, his reputation has been quite marred by all this and if I had been in his situation, I would have resigned to "save face" or for honor.

These elected officials are human, they make mistakes but they should keep the focus of their positions on the jobs they must do and not their shenanigans.

Marshall has created a new disease called "vigilantis." I thank you, for now I have something to rhyme with "praying mantis" when I write poetry.

As for treatment of people with vigilantis, I suppose you could try to restart their heart with a "defribulator," correct?

Anyone want to bet that Bill Marshall's real name is "Bill Marshal"?

As for the Dumler death threat, if he lives near Scottsville, he would frequently hear gunshots near his house (unless he lives in downtown Sville). You're correct...the media has (typically) dropped the ball on this. It is more critical to do stories on Cirque du Soleil, I suppose.

R.I.P.: Gene Siskel

Dumler is a real piece of work. At least he serves as a reminder of how Mallek and Rooker lack any moral compass. They just have a wind vane.

@Liberlace - Bill Marshall's name may be Chris Dumler. Check it out. Someone told me about this, or maybe I read it here. There's not a single post by Bill Marshall during the weekends between Friday 6:00 p.m. and Sunday 6:30 p.m. since Dumler started serving his weekend jail terms. Same for Ponce de Leon (which is a Hwy that connects Atlanta and his hometown of Stone Mountain). I checked the info and it's right. He posted weekends before this however.

Women unite! Board of Supervisors meeting is this Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. If you want to speak, come a little early and sign up.

Cvillian, I've responded to a similar post you made under the name Roger O Vernout on another thread, so I'll copy and paste it here for those who haven't been to that thread lately.

"Cute Roger, but is it not obvious to you that both Bill Marshall and Ponce are quite conservative in general and that both have been posting under those names for quite along time?

Your sleuthing is about as good as that of "Nancy Drew" who used to post all the time and was frequently incorrect in what he/she posted. Lots of people post from work and if you follow any thread on this site, you will often see that they lie dormant over the weekend and then pick back up on Monday morning."

not buyin it - I looked back at those posts and that's where I saw it, at Roger's post. So, Roger is correct, and your post doesn't negate what he said. Bill and Ponce DID post on weekends until March 8, so much for your theory.

Women unite! Dumler back in action at the Supervisor's meeting, tomorrow, April 11 at 6:00 p.m. Care to join us? Come early if you want to sign up to speak.

Whoops, make that Wednesday April 10 at 6:00 p.m.

There's no such thing as a recall in Virginia...a recall is an ELECTION designed to decide whether to unseat a current elected official....once again, the Hook mistakes facts for sensationalism.

Also, this petition has 132 pages of signatures, an only an affidavit by the circulator that he got the signatures...it fails under Virginia law and I'm not sure it's the role of the special prosecutor to come up with an amended petition, but even if the Judge permits it, it's going to require ALL of the signatures to be resigned.

§ 24.2-235. Procedure.

A petition for the removal of an officer shall state with reasonable accuracy and detail the grounds or reasons for removal and shall be signed by the person or persons making it under penalties of perjury. The circuit court shall not dismiss the petition solely because of an error or omission in the form of the petition relating to its statement of the grounds or reasons for removal if such error or omission is not material in determining whether the statement of the grounds or reasons for removal provides a reasonable basis under § 24.2-233 to consider the removal of the officer.

As soon as the petition is filed with the court, the court shall issue a rule requiring the officer to show cause why he should not be removed from office, the rule alleging in general terms the cause or causes for such removal. The rule shall be returnable in not less than five nor more than ten days and shall be served upon the officer with a copy of the petition. Upon return of the rule duly executed, unless good cause is shown for a continuance or postponement to a later day in the term, the case shall be tried on the day named in the rule and take precedence over all other cases on the docket. If upon trial it is determined that the officer is subject to removal under the provisions of § 24.2-233, he shall be removed from office.

And, Bill Marshall, you are 150% correct.