February 26, 2013
Albemarle County supervisors say there has been talk about finding a replacement for Chris Dumler, should the Albemarle County supervisor resign, and Dumler himself may be in on the search.
Dumler, who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor sexual battery charge in January, is still serving on the board, but recent conversations could indicate that a shake up may be in store.
"[Dumler] has had discussions with people, potential replacements, for him on the board," said supervisor Dennis Rooker. "It's something he has given thought to, and I have encouraged him to give that thought."
Rooker says he thinks Dumler has a "strong desire" to make certain that, if he is replaced, it is by someone who shares similar beliefs.
Rooker says, while the board has no authority to remove a member, they can tell Dumler what they think he should do. Rooker's advice -- get out of Albemarle County.
"If it were me, I would resign," said Rooker. "At 27 years old, certainly I would resign and probably go somewhere else and practice law and build a new life because I think this thing may well hound him here for quite a period of time."
Rooker says, while it would be difficult for Dumler to move forward while still in Albemarle County, he does not think the scandal would taint the future of the board.
He says if a new board member were to be appointed, it would be a relatively smooth process -- an idea echoed by supervisor Duane Snow.
Although he would not reveal any names, Snow says there have been discussions with potential replacements, and, according to Snow, it's not about politics.
"As a board, we make appointments all the time that we vote unanimously on, and I think that, working together, we can come up with someone that's a moderate that we all feel good about and be able to appoint that individual," said Snow.
Still, it is a decision that will not have to be made unless Dumler chooses to remove himself from the board.
While Rooker says he would not be surprised if Dumler were to step down, Snow isn't so sure.
"Every time I hear him talk, it's always, 'I'm not going to resign,'" said Snow. "I feel like he should. I feel like maybe if enough pressure is put to bear he may, but then he seems to have an ability to disconnect himself from what's happened."
If Dumler were to step down, the board would appoint a new supervisor by majority vote to fill the seat. That person would serve in the position until a special election in November.