The political fate of the Albemarle supervisor turned convict will go into the hands of a circuit court judge. A petition to remove Chris Dumler from office is ready to move forward.
In January, Albemarle County Supervisor Chris Dumler pleaded guilty to sexual battery. He was facing a felony forcible sodomy charge, but instead pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor sexual battery charge as part of a plea agreement. He will serve a total of 30 days in jail. Dumler refuses to step down from the Board of Supervisors.
Earl Smith started a recall vote petition after Dumler pleaded guilty to misdemeanor sexual battery. The petition requires signatures from 10 percent of voters in the Scottsville District, totaling 372 needed signatures.
Smith says the Albemarle Circuit Court staffers are doing their homework on how to handle this type of recall of vote petition, because this is a particularly rare move.
Once Albemarle County Circuit Court Judge Cheryl Higgins is presented with the petition to remove Dumler, she will have to verify the signatures. That will be done by the county voter registrar. Next, the judge will decide if a hearing should be held.
Dumler will be served with the petition and allegations within 10 days of its filing and then a trial can happen.
"My guess is the judge is going to say 'I'm not here to decide whether Chris is right or wrong in opposing the Western Bypass. I'm here to decide if he is unable to do his job'," said Lloyd Snook, NBC29 legal analyst.
On Wednesday, Albemarle supervisors will talk about the process to replace Dumler, should he resign. They also plan to remove him from all his board assignments.
To read the full Virginia code of law on petitioning the removal of an officer click here.