May 20, 2013
Two very different pictures were painted of Albemarle County Supervisor Chris Dumler in Circuit Court Monday, where Dumler was on trial to keep his seat on the board. Prosecutors portrayed a man who was unresponsive to his constituents and who had lost the trust of his fellow board members. But the defense, showed Dumler as a dedicated supervisor who goes "above and beyond" when it come to serving the residents of the Scottsville District.
At the heart of this trial-if Dumler's January conviction of misdemeanor sexual battery-has caused him to neglect his duty as a board supervisor.
The trial began with Special prosecutor Mike Doucette calling Supervisor Ken Boyd to take the stand. Boyd confirmed Dumler was asked to resign from the several boards and commissions he served, during a closed door meeting among supervisors in March. "The board had lost all faith and trust in his abilities to serve on those boards and commissions," Boyd testified.
Doucette also called three Scottsville residents to take the stand. Each testified they had tried countless times to get in touch with Dumler, by phone and email, and that he had ignored all of their messages.
"I've lost complete faith in him as my supervisor," Rob Pippin testified.
Doucette's last witness to be called to take the stand was Dumler. In a sometimes testy exchange, Doucette grilled Dumler on why he didn't respond to constituents calls for his resignation. Dumler said he didn't respond because it "wasn't related to County business".
Dumler's defense attorney, Jessica Phillips, argued no evidence presented in court could prove Dumler was unable to perform his duties as supervisor.
"All I heard was evidence of people who don't like Mr. Dumler, don't like that he was convicted of this offense and want him to resign," Phillips said during closing arguments. She urged the court not to make the decision to remove Dumler from his seat on the board, saying that decision should be made at the election polls. "People can vote someone into office and they can vote them out."
After nearly five hours of testimony from 12 witnesses, including supervisors Boyd, Duane Snow, and Dennis Rooker, Judge Cheryl Higgins told a packed courtroom she needed time to consider a ruling.
CBS19 caught up with Dumler as he left the courtroom, he said "I'm going to wait until the ruling comes out before I make a statement."
A decision is expected on May 31st.
May 20, 2013
The trial over whether Christopher Dumler can keep his seat on the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors is over, but it will be another week before we hear the judge's ruling.
Judge Cheryl Higgens said she needs some time to think about whether Dumler has neglected his duties as supervisor after being arrested on a sexual battery charge in October.
On Monday, all members of the Board of Supervisors, except Chairwoman Ann Mallek, were called to testify in Charlottesville Circuit Court.
Prosecutors tried to show Dumler had lost the trust of his fellow Board members, and was ineffective as a representative of the Scottsville district after being removed from boards and commissions.
Dumler took the stand during the trial, defending his work as a supervisor.
He will be back in court on May 31 to find out if he can keep his seat on the Board.