A principal, a petition, Beta abuse, and Huguely’s appeal: News briefs

Western Albemarle High School welcomes new principal John Werner this summer. Photo: Albemarle County Public Schools. Western Albemarle High School welcomes new principal John Werner this summer. Photo: Albemarle County Public Schools.

Check c-ville.com daily and pick up a copy of the paper Tuesday to for the latest Charlottesville and Albemarle news briefs and stories. Here’s a quick look at some of what we’ve had an eye on for the past week.

New principal comes to Western Albemarle

Western Albemarle High School announced late last month its new principal will start this summer. John Werner, a Nova Southeastern University graduate with a doctorate in educational leadership, will take the reins on July 1.

According to a news release from the county school division, Werner holds a Bachelor’s degree and two Master’s degrees in education from George Mason University. He started out as a social studies teacher at Herndon High School in Fairfax County, spent seven years as an assistant principal at three Fairfax County public schools, and has now worked in Virginia schools for 20 years.

Werner will take over for Dave Francis, who is retiring June 30 after serving as principal at Western since 2008.

Judge denies Dumler’s request for dismissal  

Albemarle County Supervisor Chris Dumler’s request to dismiss a petition to have him removed from office was denied last week. County Circuit Judge Cheryl Higgins said Monday, April 29, that the case can now move toward its May 20 trial. According to The Daily Progress, Dumler’s attorney said the references to “admitted and documented questionable behavior” written in the removal petition were vague, but Higgins ruled the language was clearly referencing Dumler’s October arrest on forcible sodomy charges and January guilty plea to misdemeanor sexual battery.

Mike Doucette, the Lynchburg Commonwealth’s Attorney serving as special prosecutor in the case, filed a bill of particulars detailing how Dumler’s actions have prevented him from fulfilling his duties as Supervisor. Examples include a lack of town hall meetings since his arrest, his resignation from the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail Authority Board, his required 30 days in jail, and his declining to vote on the controversial Albemarle County Police Department gun range.

University responds to racial slur on Beta Bridge   

Last Wednesday, the Black Student Alliance at the University of Virginia posted a letter to its Facebook page in response to a racist message painted on the Beta Bridge, which has traditionally been painted with supportive and encouraging messages. The letter described it as “a disgusting racial slur, accompanied by a grotesque and appalling illustration.”

The UVA Student Council released a statement later that day, calling the message “hateful vandalism” and encouraged students to continue standing up for principals like inclusion, fairness, and multiculturalism.

According to NBC29, the bridge was painted over days later, with a message that reads “Black solidarity and progression. Racism will not deface our vision.” In larger letters, it reads “Black power. Say it to my face.”

Court grants Huguely an appeal 

Former UVA lacrosse player George Huguely, who was convicted in February 2012 of second-degree murder and grand larceny for the death of his girlfriend Yeardley Love, has been granted an appeal.

According to local and national reports, the Virginia Court of Appeals last month allowed Huguely’s appeal on the grounds that he was denied his right to counsel when one of his attorneys, Rhonda Quagliana, missed a trial day due to sickness.

His attorney, former Solicitor General Paul Clement, had also argued that there were a number of “constitutional and procedural errors” during the trial, including that jurors had a misunderstanding of the term “malice” and that the murder charge had a lack of supportive evidence, but those arguments were struck down.

The Attorney General’s office is handling the appeal, and both parties have until May 10 to challenge the court’s decision.

—C-VILLE writers

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