Chris Dumler resigns from Board of Supervisors

Chris Dumler. Photo: John Robinson Chris Dumler. Photo: John Robinson

Albemarle County Supervisor Chris Dumler has resigned from the Board of Supervisors, despite saying last week after surviving a petition effort to remove him from the Board that he planned to keep serving.

Dumler was absent at the start of the county’s regular meeting Wednesday morning, but immediately after the pledge of allegiance, Samuel Miller District Representative Duane Snow said Dumler had met with him Monday and given him a letter, which Snow proceeded to read aloud: “‘I hereby resign the office of Supervisor, Scottsville District, for the County of Albemarle. Signed, Chris Dumler.’”

Snow, his voice choked with emotion, then offered his own brief statement.

“I want to thank Mr. Dumler for making the decision to step down,” he said. “ It’s my prayer and hope that we as a community will forgive and move forward. To those most affected and others that have been sexually abused, we offer you our support.”

Dumler had faced harsh criticism from some constituents and censure from his fellow supervisors after he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor sexual battery in January 2013. The plea followed an October arrest on the charge of felony forcible sodomy. Scottsville resident Earl Smith spearheaded an effort to remove Dumler from office by petition for neglect of duty, collecting the signatures of 470 registered Scottsville voters. But Albemarle County Circuit Court Judge Cheryl Higgins threw out the petition on May 31, and after her ruling, Dumler said he felt he still had work to do on the Board.

Rio District Representative Dennis Rooker said Dumler was right to fight the case to remove him.

“I  think it was important that he stayed through the time that his petition case was running, because that case was a case of first impression in Virginia,” Rooker said shortly after the resignation announcement. “I think it was important that the decision be rendered not just for him but for public officials statewide, so that they had some guidance as to.. what the circumstances are for which a public official can be removed for neglect of duty.”

But he said he thought it was appropriate that Dumler had finally stepped down and closed the book on the legal battle and ongoing protests.

“I’m pleased we are where we are today,” he said.

County Executive Tom Foley told the Board it now has 15 days to request a special election for Dumler’s seat, which will take place in November. Board members will have 45 days to appoint a temporary fill-in, he said, and and offered a tentative plan for that process: Supervisors can advertise for the position from June 6-20, and from June 21 to July 2, the Board and members of the public can review any applications submitted by candidates. At a Board meeting on July 3, the candidates could then offer public comments and respond to supervisors’ questions, and the Board could enter a closed session either that day or at a regular meeting a week later, on July 10, to discuss and make their choice. Their appointed temporary supervisor could then join them on the dais July 10 or at the following meeting August 7, Foley said, and would serve until the November election. Whomever is elected to fill the seat would serve until what would have been the end of Dumler’s term on December 31, 2015.

Steve Peters, the district chair of the Scottsville GOP and one of the loudest voices of protest over Dumler’s continued presence on the Board, said he and others who pushed for the young Democrat to leave office were glad that he’d finally resigned.

“Up until this point, Chris has done what was best for Chris—not what was best for the victims, not what was best for the county, and not was best for constituents,” Peters said after stepping out of the County Office Building’s Lane Auditorium as Wednesday’s meeting continued. The protests weren’t political, he added.

“This isn’t a Tea Party issue or a GOP issue,” he said, pointing out that many of those who signed the petition to remove Dumler were Democrats.

It’s possible the balance of power on the Board will change with a temporary appointment, he acknowledged, as Dumler’s departure leaves one independent, one Democrat, and three Republicans still sitting. But, he pointed out, “we find ourselves in this position because of what Chris did.” And whomever takes his seat initially will serve only briefly, said Peters, “and then the people will make their selection.”

  • annoyed

    WHAT a little JERK!!! That is the nicest word I can use on this forum. He wasted taxpayers money and the court’s time to hear his case…knowing he was going to resign anyway!

  • Citizen

    Excellent! Just be glad it’s over. He highlighted serious flaws in our
    standards for public offices. I hope we can keep this from happening
    again by enacting new laws now.

  • Edward N Virginia

    Critical questions abound.

    Republicans NEVER NEVER NEVER pursued REMOVAL OF THE REPUBLICAN DELEGATE representing part of southern Albemarle WHO HAS A POLICE RECORD NOTING ‘HISTORY OF VIOLENCE’ from when police intervened responding to a terrified woman’s call THAT HE WAS TRYING TO BATTER IN THE DOOR OF HER HOME.

    Why didn’t – WHY DON’T – Republicans pursue the removal of MATT FARISS? Why don’t Republicans care about Mr Farriss’ ‘history of violence’ involving a terrified woman and destruction of property to get at her, or into her home?

    What sort of hypocrisy states “we find ourselves in this position because of what Chris [ Mr Dumler ] did”, but doesn’t spend a breath on what Mr Farriss DID?!

    Republicans submitting application to fill the open seat should be asked this question! Shouldn’t they? Dear media: please be sure to ask these questions.


    • Roger_O_Vernout

      The decade-old complaint about Farriss was well-known to the electorate BEFORE he was elected. Dumler’s trangsressions, going back to 2006 in Virginia, were kept hidden. The elctorate feels duped by Dumler and are angry about it. The electorate in Farriss’ district are happy with his behavior and the job he is doing. Farriss will be re-elected easily. Dumler was convicted of sexual battery. Farriss was not convicted, and was never even charged! Dumler’s constituents were on fire with rage at him, and in the end, had him removed. No one is picketing Farriss.

      Edward, your rant holds no water at all.

      • Edward N Virginia


        both have ‘history of violence’ in their records. We believe this to be prima facie dis-qualification for public office. Conviction under law is not the determination. The determination is a moral standard.

        Others can believe that violence history is acceptable behavior for Republicans. Do you believe that? What do you think about voters who violence is acceptable? Is that what Mr Fariss’ supporters believe?

        In Albemarle history there were persons who endorsed, and enacted,
        violence and abuse of human rights. The law enabled and protected and rewarded those abuses for most of
        the history of Albemarle County, and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

        Some may even believe that violence history is welcome behavior. Do you believe that? There are certainly political, religious, and other ideologies that reward aggression, violence, and violations of others human rights. Do some of Mr Fariss’ supporters believe this?

        • commonsensesuperpower

          I am not sure if you are saying that it was good to try and get rid of Dumler or not but that is the issue here. ANYONE who is convicted of sexual battery, REGARDLESS of party affiliation should not get to serve in public office. I think we all agree to that. A history of violence and a conviction for sexual assault are not the same thing. I hope you can see past your leftist agenda to understand that. If not, go to an anger management group and then spend some time with rapists in prison. Which ones would you like to hang out with. Or do I need to give you their party affiliation before you make that decision?

          • Edward N Virginia


            our point is clearly stated:

            “We believe [ that a history of violence ] to be prima facie dis-qualification for public office.”

            We believe that sexual battery – whether or not there was a criminal or civil conviction – is a history of violence.

            We believe that child abuse or neglect, elder abuse or neglect, abuse or neglect of anyone in you care – whether or not there was a criminal or civil conviction – is history of violence.

            We believe that abuse, neglect, or harm of animals out of intention or inhumane disregard – whether or not there was a criminal or civil conviction – is history of violence.

            However, it is clear that Republicans, and others, who welcome Mr Fariss’ history of violence, while rejecting Mr Dumler’s history of violence, present a partisan, rather than a moral, argument.

            We are presenting a moral argument, not a political argument.


            This is very simple and clear standard, and it include both Mr Dumler and Mr Fariss.

            Our point is very simple and clear. We have not idea what you are rambling on about with some sort of political argument.

          • lovinggunmaker

            who is “we”?

          • Edward N Virginia

            THANK YOU, but you are incorrect.

            our point is clearly stated from moral grounding( * see below again): i.e. we have defined our considerations regarding ‘history of violence’ as a ‘prima facie dis-qualification’ from holding public office. We have not proposed a legislative standard, but rather a moral standard.

            Applying our moral standard we find that both Mssrs Dumler and Fariss fail the standard. We have applied the standard fairly/equivalently to both. Both fail the standard.

            You or any are welcome to provide a different definition. But, earlier your writing provided a notion (if not a definition) that relied on a juridical, rather than an inherently moral, standard: ‘conviction’. We do not find applying a juridical standard to be complete, morally probing, or adequate. Additionally, we have noted that the juridical definition – in practice, here – eliminates removal of the Republican. We find that ‘convenience’ politically partisan, and therefore morally suspect, and unpraiseworthy from a higher view (e.g. a creator of moral reason, a ground of being from which moral reason persists, etc).

            Why would one propose

            You or any are to provide a different definition.

            Thank you. (‘You’, of course, also being a plural).

            “We believe [ that a history of violence ] to be prima facie dis-qualification for public office.”

            We believe that sexual battery – whether or not there was a criminal or civil conviction – is a history of violence.

            We believe that child abuse or neglect, elder abuse or neglect, abuse
            or neglect of anyone in you care – whether or not there was a criminal
            or civil conviction – is history of violence.

            We believe that abuse, neglect, or harm of animals out of intention
            or inhumane disregard – whether or not there was a criminal or civil
            conviction – is history of violence.

          • lovinggunmaker

            I am incorrect when I ask who this “we” is that you keep referring to?

          • commonsensesuperpower

            Well allow me to be equally clear.

            1. I do not understand why you continue to talk about yourself as if you are more than one person, unless you are part of the borg from star trek.
            2. You present a political argument, not a moral one, when you single out republicans (a political party) in your initial post. Does this confuse you?

            3. I would entertain a discussion on the legal and moral implications of deciding who has a history of violence and who does not without criminal or civil charges or convictions to offer as evidence, but I feel that would fall on deaf ears.

            4. If you put all Republicans in a box and label it than do not be confused when people do it to you unless you and your group feel above reproach.

  • Roger_O_Vernout

    Albemarle County ought to sue to get their trial expenses reimbursed by Dumler if he were going to resign anyway. WTH?

  • Liz

    Did anyone else struggle through the horrible grammar and tense usage of this article? Come ON Cville….!

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