Jefferson Area Tea Party Calls for Dumler to Resign - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Jefferson Area Tea Party Calls for Dumler to Resign

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The call for Albemarle County Supervisor Chris Dumler to resign is gaining support from yet another group. The Jefferson Area Tea Party (JATP) says Dumler needs to step down after being convicted of a sex crime.

The conservative group released a statement Monday morning calling for Dumler to step down from his spot on the Board of Supervisors immediately.  The JATP says it would be the "honorable" thing for Dumler to do. Read the full statement below. 

Last month, Dumler pleaded guilty to misdemeanor sexual battery. His guilty plea was part of an agreement with prosecutors to drop a felony forcible sodomy charge and not pursue charges for two additional alleged victims.

In its request for Dumler's resignation, the JATP claims voters in the Scottsville District are avoiding contact with Dumler because they feel frightened or intimidated.    

"If they need to be spending time listening to and meeting with their constituents, why should Mr. Dumler get a free pass on allowing them to carry his burden? So, it's a distraction," said Helen Swift-Dovel, chairwoman of the JATP.

Swift-Dovel says Dumler's decision to stay on the board is a waste of taxpayer's money if supervisors can't be as efficient and effective due to the distraction.

The JATP is not alone in urging Dumler to step down. The Sexual Assault Resource Agency says his crime violates the community's trust and he should resign.

Dumler is expected to report to jail March 8 to begin serving weekend time for his 30-day sentence.

JATP statement on request for Chris Dumler to resign:

The Jefferson Area Tea Party (JATP) joins many other community entities, including the Sexual Assault Resource Agency (SARA) and the Charlottesville Daily Progress, in calling on Chris Dumler to do the honorable thing and step down from his position on the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors.

We withheld commenting on his felony charge of forced sodomy until the criminal process was completed. Mr. Dumler ultimately pled guilty to the reduced charge of sexual battery and his plea agreement with the Commonwealth enabled him to avoid potential criminal charges on two additional cases alleging criminal sexual misconduct.

Many voters in Mr. Dumler's district who now feel frightened or intimidated are without representation because they are avoiding contact with him. If constituents cannot or will not meet with Mr. Dumler on issues of county business because he has entered a guilty plea to a criminal sexual offense, then he cannot fulfill the obligations of his position to his constituents. Instead of being forced to conduct business with Mr. Dumler many constituents have chosen to contact supervisors from other districts, which has had a disruptive effect on the Board's ability to do its work. These Scottsville District voters have expressed to the other supervisors both their discomfort with having any further contact with him and/or concerns that contact would appear to be a tacit acceptance of his behavior.

Samuel Adams said, "Nothing is more essential to the establishment of manners in a State than that all persons employed in places of power and trust be men of unexceptionable character. The public cannot be too curious concerning the character of public men." Community leaders and elected officials should embody the best qualities of the constituents they represent, not the worst. Over time if we fail to respond appropriately to a lack of decency found in, or at the extreme, criminality displayed by our leaders and public officials, these lower standards will become our own. Do we really want this behavior to become the acceptable norm for our community, and more importantly for our children?

In summary, we believe Mr. Dumler's admission of, and conviction of, criminal sexual misconduct materially and adversely affects his ability to govern effectively and have become an unnecessary disruption to the electorate's ability to interact and conduct essential business with the Board of Supervisors. We therefore urge Mr. Dumler to step down immediately.

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