October 19, 2012
Albemarle County Supervisor Christopher Dumler is out of jail on a $50,000 bond. The judge set bond Friday morning, a day after Dumler was arrested on a forcible sodomy charge.
As a condition of his bond, Dumler can have no contact with his accuser.
Dumler left through a side door of the jail, avoiding the media that had gathered outside waiting for him.
Cynthia Neff posted Dumler's bond. Neff is a vice-chair for the Albemarle County Democratic party and serves on several boards in the Charlottesville region. She ran unsuccessfully against Ken Boyd for the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors in 2011.
The bond hearing for Albemarle County Supervisor Christopher Dumler charged with forcible sodomy has been postponed. Dumler will spend a second night at the Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail. Meanwhile, police say the investigation ongoing.
Albemarle County Chief of Police Steve Sellers said Dumler knows his female victim. Court documents show the incident happened on October 4, but the investigation did not begin until several days later when the victim filed a complaint. Dumler was arrested late Wednesday night and charged with one count of forcible sodomy.
"It's a felony in the state of Virginia and carries a potential sentence of five to 40 years," said Sellers.
Dumler graduated with his law degree from the University of Virginia in 2009 and is currently practicing law in Charlottesville. K. Andrew Sneathern says Dumler has retained him as his defense attorney in this case.
Because of his position on the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors, a special prosecutor has been called in to handle the case. Fluvanna County Prosecutor Jeff Haislip confirmed he will be taking the reigns for Commonwealth's Attorney Denise Lunsford.
Police say Dumler's title won't play a role in their ongoing investigation. "These cases are handled exactly the same regardless of who it is," said Sellers.
For now, Dumler will remain a member of the Board of Supervisors. "At this point, Mr. Dumler retains the full responsibilities and rights of a board member," said Albemarle County Spokeswoman Lee Catlin. "As long as he remains in the role, he certainly would be able to vote on issues that came before the board."
Dumler's fellow supervisors say they were surprised to hear of the charges and reiterate an innocent until proven guilty mantra. Supervisor Duane Snow released this statement:
"Needless to say, I was shocked to hear the allegations this morning. I feel confident that our local police department and justice system will provide a fair and impartial hearing on this matter."
According to County rules, if Dumler is convicted of a felony he will be required to step down. A bond hearing has been set for 11:00am Friday, October 19 in Albemarle County General District Court.
Albemarle County Supervisor Christopher Dumler appeared via video conference in Albemarle County General District Court Thursday morning. He faces one felony count of forcible sodomy.
Paperwork filed with the court indicates he engaged in anal intercourse against the victim's will by force, threat or intimidation.
Two women appeared in court Thursday morning on Dumler's behalf, one of which identified herself as Megan Gadient, Dumler's live-in girlfriend.
Gadient said she's known Dumler since August 2011 and has no reason to believe he has a criminal past.
Officials have set a preliminary hearing for December 13 at 9:30 a.m.
October 18, 2012:
Albemarle County Police have arrested Albemarle County Supervisor Christopher Dumler.
Dumler is charged with one count of forcible sodomy, which is a felony offense.
Wednesday's arrest comes after an investigation into an alleged incident that occurred on October 4. Police say the victim was known to Dumler.
Dumler is being held without bond at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail. His bond hearing was scheduled for 9:00 a.m. Thursday. However that was delayed so special prosecutor David Chapman could review the case. Chapman, who is Charlottesville's Commonwealth Attorney, was brought in to avoid a conflict of interest with the Albemarle County Commonwealth's Attorney trying the case.
Police say the investigation is ongoing.
Albemarle County spokeswoman Lee Catlin tells CBS 19 that the County administration is closely watching the legal proceedings. She adds that Dumler is able to continue to perform his duties as a Supervisor while the legal process plays out.