May 31, 2013
Many people in Scottsville are upset about Judge Cheryl Higgins' decision to allow Chris Dumler to continue serving on the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors, despite his conviction of sexual battery.
Cenie Sturm, a life-long Scottsville resident who helped circulate the petition calling for Dumler to be removed, says she is "furious" with the outcome.
"I just thought it was horrible," said Sturm. "I just could not believe it. What does it look like for the young people coming up today? That he can get by with this?"
That is a common concern in Scottsville -- that Dumler has not been punished enough for his conviction, despite his 30-day jail sentence.
"He thinks he can get by with what he's done," said Albemarle County resident Caroline Lamb. "And nobody can step up and say anything about it."
The board has removed Dumler from all of this committee assignments, but people in Scottsville say that hurts them even more.
"How does that help us?" said Sturm. "In the Scottsville District we don't have anybody represented on any of the committees."
Sturm says having Dumler as a representative is like having no representative at all.
"If I had a problem, there's no way in the world I would call him," she said.
"Scottsville is a very close-knit community," said Greg Schoenborn, who owns a studio in town. "We work real hard together as a community. We need all the power that we can get here."
Protesters say they will continue to come to board meetings with their signs.
"The judge has made a ruling that legally Chris cannot be recalled but that has absolutely changed none of the angst," said Steven Peters, the GOP Chairman of the Scottsville District, and a protester at Friday's hearing.
"There really is not a whole lot else that we can do except voice our displeasure and hope that he listens," said Scottsville resident Jason Woodson. "I don't think he will."
A couple people in town said they were find with Dumler staying on the board. They said he just made a mistake and should be allowed to move on with his life. However, those people were hesitant to give their names or talk on camera.