Dumler issues statement of apology, says he won’t resign

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Albemarle County Supervisor Chris Dumler as he entered the Albemarle County Circuit Courthouse to accept a plea deal in January. Photo by Graelyn Brashear. Albemarle County Supervisor Chris Dumler as he entered the Albemarle County Circuit Courthouse to accept a plea deal in January. Photo by Graelyn Brashear.

Despite escalating pressure to resign from office—including from all five of his fellow Albemarle County supervisors—embattled Scottsville representative Chris Dumler released a statement today apologizing for his actions and saying he does not intend to step down following his guilty plea on a sexual battery charge stemming from an arrest for forcible sodomy late last year.

“I have learned the hard way that I must be more considerate of the feelings of people who I have close interpersonal relationships with, and I am upset with myself, and very sorry to those whom I have been discourteous towards,” Dumler said in the statement.

He said the accusation of anal rape came from a woman he was sexually involved with in Scottsville. “The legality or illegality of any of this notwithstanding, I acted inappropriately and I would like to make a formal apology to her,” he said.

Dumler, 27, gave press interviews about his decision to stay in office Wednesday, two days after a raucous outburst over his continued presence on the board resulted in one person being removed from a budget hearing. Yesterday, two former allies—supervisors Ann Mallek, a Democrat, and Dennis Rooker, an independent—both said they thought Dumler should leave the Board.

But Dumler said that while he understands his colleagues’ concerns about vocal opposition to his serving becoming a distraction, he’s staying the course, because he owes it to those who elected him in Scottsville.

“Some of those speaking out are understandably confused, disappointed, and hurt that they supported me, trusted me, and voted for me because of the positions and ideals I said I would represent on the Board me in light of my lapse of judgment, and to you, I apologize,” he said.

“On the other hand, many of the contacts that my Board and I have received are affiliated with interests that are ideologically opposed to the side of the current 3-3 split that I am on the [Board of Supervisors].  Currently, the Board is in the middle of important budget negotiations, a comprehensive plan update that happens once every five years, and other critical issues, such as the creation of our stormwater management program to comply with federal mandates. I have been a moderate and an important voice on behalf of the residents of Southern Albemarle when it comes to these issues, and a change in the composition of the Board resulting from an unelected interim Supervisor replacing me would likely be the difference on a number of votes and issues affecting growth area expansion, rural area preservation, investment in education, and the funding of important capital improvement projects that help us maintain our quality of life here in Albemarle County.

“I feel that it is my responsibility—my obligation—to honor the commitment that the majority of voters in my district asked of me and represent them on issues like holding the line on growth area expansions and maintaining our commitment and loyalty to our small public schools. The people of the Scottsville District should not be punished for my lapse in judgment. Therefore, I have no intention to resign my position. To the many, many constituents who have sent me e-mails of support, encouragement, and well-wishes in this difficult time, I thank you for having the faith in me to continue serving you. I know I have many fences to mend, and [much] trust to regain.  I would also like to take this opportunity to apologize to my colleagues on the board. They have been tossed into the middle of an unfortunate and emotionally charged scene, and that is something I never wanted and I deeply regret that they were forced to get involved.”

Dumler indicated in his first public appearance less than a week after taking the plea deal that he could not afford to fight the felony charge, despite wanting to clear his name of a crime he claimed to be innocent of. He alluded to financial barriers to going to trial in a brief interview following the release of the statement.

“While I can’t comment on why prosecution offered the plea deal or go into too many details of the evidence or facts that might impact my decision, I will note that the criminal justice process can be fairly onerous, and at the end of the day, I was not prepared to suffer some of those consequences to follow this through to trial,” he said.

Rooker said that while the Board of Supervisors doesn’t have the power to push Dumler out—only a felony charge would force a resignation—he felt his colleague should reconsider his intentions to stay on the board. He said he’s received more e-mails calling for Dumler’s departure than supporting him.

“I think it would be in Chris’ best interest and in the county’s best interest for him to resign,” Rooker said. “I do think this will make it very hard for him to perform his job, and I also think the impact on his life is greater the longer he stays in office.”

  • Marie

    Dumler needs to go, enough is enough

  • Sick & Tired

    Chris it is your “responsibility” and your “obligation” to honor the wishes of the MAJORITY of voters in “your” district, most of which voted FOR you, that have humbly and adamantly asked you to resign! You have ALREADY “punished” the people of the Scottsville District by your insolent attitude regarding this whole thing. Go. Now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jamiemorganart Jamie Morgan

    if you can not afford a lawyer, you can have one appointed.

    • park neighbor

      That is only sort of true. If you tell the court that you can’t afford a lawyer, they give you a form to fill out that asks for financial information. They then apply a formula to determine whether you qualify for free legal assistance or not. Virtually anyone with a halfway decent job doesn’t qualify. If you have valuable assets like a house or a car, then you are expected to be able to sell those, take out a second mortgage, etc. if necessary to defend yourself.

      Whether you are guilty or not, it is very easy to spend a fortune with legal fees of $200/hour+ , especially if you opt for a jury trial which consumes more of your lawyer’s time with jury selection. Many people make the same decision in this city every single day and plead guilty, though often to a lesser charge, to avoid bankrupting themselves. Those stories just don’t happen to be in the news.

      I’m not defending Dumler in any way other than to say that his defense would indeed have been quite expensive and he is unlikely to have been able to avoid paying for it if he chose to go to court..

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1312563740 Amanda Hynes Thornburg

    He’s full of it. Everything he says is a lie. GIve it up. You are an embarrasment to yourself and our community. Even the British are laughing at you know. If you think that you have any political future, think again. You’re done. You’re a liar, and I know it. And you know it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lewis-Rector/754709042 Lewis Rector

    Weird similarities between Thomas Jefferson and Chris Dumler:

    •Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia
    •Chris Dumler attended the University of Virginia

    •Thomas Jefferson served as President, Vice President, Secretary of State, Virginia state legislator and Governor
    •Chris Dumler serves on the Board of Supervisors.

    •Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence.
    •Chris Dumler was arrested last fall on a charge of forcible sodomy.

    •Thomas Jefferson was terrified of public speaking.
    •Chris Dumler’s public relations firm Payne, Ross and Associates, could not be reached for comment.

    •Thomas Jefferson, in his first inaugural address in March 1801, pleaded for national unity, insisting that differences of opinion were not differences of principle.
    •Chris Dumler in January, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor sexual battery.

    •Thomas Jefferson invented the iron plow. An important tool in hillside planting.
    •Special Prosecutor, Jeffery W. Haislip is a tool

    •Thomas Jefferson collected biological samples from the Lewis and Clark Expedition
    •Police collected DNA from Dumler

    •Thomas Jefferson believed in life liberty and the pursuit of happiness
    •Chris Dumler believes he is entitled

    •Thomas Jefferson was hated by the Federalists
    •Everyone hates Chris

    •Thomas Jefferson was a farmer
    •Chris Dumler is an admitted sex offender

    •Thomas Jefferson was a bit of a “Foodie”
    • and Chris Dumler is a convicted sex offender.

    Freaky ain’t it?

  • Keith Morris

    “discourteous?” did dumler really just reduce what he’s done to “discourteous?” we’re dealing with a truly bizarre individual here.

  • cvilleperson

    Has anyone looked into what it would take to remove him from office? A new vote or a petition? It would be interesting to know what could be done to support what seems to be the majority of the public who would like him to be removed and put the focus back on the issues and not another criminal in politics.

  • Keith Morris

    legally, a petition to remove him must be signed by 372 people in the scottsville district and then it goes before a judge who can rule on removing him. however, it would make much more sense for him to agree to resign while having someone appointed to his seat who shares dumler’s political concerns–ie, a democrat. that’s what board members today are saying they’re trying to do. meanwhile, the embarrassment to our community goes international, courtesy of the UK daily mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2285436/Outrage-Democratic-county-official-Chris-Dumler-guilty-forcible-sodomy-refuses-resign.html#comments

  • Cvillian

    Chris Dumler is going to jail this Friday, March 8 at 6:00 p.m. He has tried his apology tour on the local media outlets and failed miserably. While trying to make his case, the one he forfeited by pleading guilty to sexual battery, his victims and witnesses have also come forth. He has succeeded only in creating a media and online frenzy, the kind that will follow him the rest of his life. You’d think a tech-savvy politician like Chris would realize that every negative word reported or blogged about him will live online forever. Anyone searching for him online, for his legal services, if he ever applies for a job, for military security clearance (he’s in the reserves), anyone looking for him for anything, will find mostly ultra-damaging information. Most of it is his own doing, not just the crime he committed and resultant sentence, but his constant and continuing resistance to resigning and his continued attempt to prove his innocence even after he plead guilty. 30 days in jail is a paltry sentence compares to the ruination of his reputation forever as a result of his own hubris.

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