October 24, 2012
Albemarle County Supervisor Christopher Dumler blogs, tweets, and Facebooks to keep in constant communication with his Scottsville constituents. But in the seven days following his arrest on felony sex charges, there's been nothing but silence from Dumler. Public relations experts say his strategy of laying low may not be the best option.
"You can run away from it and simply not address it all, but the reason why that's not a good idea is that with the lack of information there is a lot of conjecture and rumor that is fostered by either the media or the public in general," said Marijean Jaggers, president of Jaggers Communications in Charlottesville.
Dumler's only appearance since his arrest was by video uplink from the Albemarle Regional jail for his bond hearing in general district court. Dumler faces on count of forcible sodomy, a felony charge in Virginia.
"If it's a criminal charge, he can't talk about it at all," Jaggers said. "It forces the people in that crisis situation to wait it out a little bit."
Dumler's position as an elected official on the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors makes things more complicated.
"An elected official has more responsibility to the community because they have been chosen by the community to serve a role," Jaggers said. "They do have a responsibility to address them, particularly if they are not going to continue in the role they have been elected to."
County Spokesperson Lee Catlin told CBS19 no county officials have had any contact with Dumler since his arrest. Catlin says as far as she and other board members know, Dumler plans on keeping his seat on the board of supervisors.
Late Wednesday afternoon Dumler canceled two town hall meetings scheduled for Wednesday the 24th, and Saturday, the 27th. No public appearances are scheduled and it is under Dumler's discretion whether he will reschedule those two meetings. The next board of supervisors meeting is scheduled for November 7th.