September 19, 2013
Albemarle Co. is now picking up the bill months after Chris Dumler’s petition trial, resulting in his resignation as the Scottsville representative on the Board of Supervisors.
Judge Cheryl Higgins issued an order for Albemarle Co. to reimburse Chris Dumler's attorney fees of $9,345, after she ruled that he was allowed to keep his seat on the board.
"If the respondent wins, the judge has the discretion to award the fees," says Jessica Phillips, she represented Dumler during the petition case. "All of the fees that I petitioned for with the court were fees that were spent in preparation for the case and trying the case."
Dumler's attorney fees stem from a trial back in May where over 580 signatures from Scottsville residents were collected in a petition to have him removed from office.
Petitioners believed Dumler was not fulfilling his duties as their representative and wanted him removed from the board. Judge Higgins ruled thought otherwise and let Dumler keep his seat on the Board of Supervisors.
"We have reserve funds that we keep for situations like this that come up in the year, and relative to our overall budget, 9,000 is not that much money,” says Ken Boyd, Supervisor for Albemarle Co. “But it's still a cost; it's still an expense to us."
Boyd sees this as closure, but believes all of it could’ve been prevented.
"I'm just glad that this has come to a resolution,” says Boyd. “I think one of the things that is still disturbing to me is the fact that this is another indication, in my mind, of the lack of integrity from Mr. Dumler, because he could have avoided all of this if he would have resigned in the beginning."
Over the past year supervisor meetings were interrupted by protestors asking Dumler to step down following his guilty plea to a misdemeanor sexual battery charge back in January.
Dumler resigned shortly after his trial and now the Board of Supervisors has moved on and are looking forward to elections in November, where four seats will be up for grabs.