No Ruling in Trial to Remove Albemarle Supervisor Dumler
Albemarle Supervisor Chris Dumler
Chris Dumler's employment with Albemarle County will hang in the balance until May 31.
After a misdemeanor sexual battery conviction and months of protests, Judge Cheryl Higgins heard hours of testimony Monday - but she says it will have to take some time to decide if Dumler should be removed from office.
Higgins says she needs time to review the facts – as this is an unprecedented case - and the information presented in court.
In closing arguments, special prosecutor Mike Doucette said Dumler has neglected his duties as a supervisor by abstaining on a vote, not communicating with certain constituents and his resignation from board assignments and committees.
The defense argued that Dumler has not missed a meeting and a misdemeanor sexual battery conviction alone does not meet the threshold to remove him from office. The defense cited that Dumler also communicated with voters while serving his 29-day jail sentence.
On the stand, Dumler touted his own accomplishments as well by way of an annual report mailing and the number of miles he's put on his car – proven in the mileage reimbursement report kept by the clerk of the Board of Supervisors.
"I thought it went well. I thought both sides presented the case very well. There were arguments that I think we both pretty much knew what was going to go down," said Earl Smith who started the petition for Dumler's removal from the board.
Fellow supervisors are split on the issue. Some say they can continue to work with Dumler should he remain in power - other say they can't.
Dumler did not want to comment before the judge's decision was made. The judge will rule in the case at Dumler's next court appearance on May 31 at 9:30 a.m.
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