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Posted: Thursday, October 18, 2012 9:06 am | Updated: 4:02 pm, Tue Jan 22, 2013.

UPDATE: 4 p.m. Friday.  

Dumler was released from jail shortly after 2 p.m. today after an Albemarle County Democratic Party official reportedly put up his $50,000 bond.

Jail officials said that Dumler, who serves as the Board of Supervisors' representative to the jail board, requested that he be allowed to leave through a different door than where most inmates exit upon release and where news reporters were waiting to talk with him.

UPDATE: 1:40 p.m. Friday

A judge set bond at $50,000 for Albemarle County Supervisor Christopher J. Dumler at a hearing Friday morning.

Dumler was arrested Thursday and charged with one count of forcible sodomy, a felony, stemming from an incident that happened on Oct. 4.

If released from custody, Dumler would be barred from contacting the victim, carrying a firearm and drinking alcohol. He would also not be allowed to leave the state without permission.

It's not yet clear if Dumler plans to post bail immediately. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Dec. 13.

 

UPDATE

Christopher J. Dumler’s political star once soared, but now the youngest supervisor in Albemarle County history could face a future as drab as a prison uniform.

He appeared in an inmate’s stripes Thursday morning, speaking via video from the county jail in a hearing nine hours after his arrest on a forcible sodomy charge.

An unmarried lawyer who is something of a fixture in the Charlottesville-area social and political scene, Dumler, 27, has served in elected office for just 10 months but was regarded as an emerging force in the local Democratic Party. He won the county’s Scottsville District seat last November.

Authorities arrested Dumler shortly after midnight Thursday at Albemarle police headquarters, police said. Dumler knew the alleged victim, who reported the Oct. 4 incident to authorities Tuesday, police said.

County authorities declined to comment on the gender of the alleged victim, where the assault allegedly took place and whether Dumler turned himself in.

At a hearing Thursday, a woman who identified herself as Dumler’s girlfriend offered to help post his bond. His bond hearing was postponed until this morning to give prosecutors time to review the details. A judge named Fluvanna County Commonwealth’s Attorney Jeffrey W. Haislip as a special prosecutor for the case.

Forcible sodomy is a felony punishable by five years to life in prison, according to Virginia law. A felony conviction would result in Dumler being removed from office.

County supervisors said they were shocked.

“I don’t recall something like this ever happening to an official in this community, and I’ve been here 31 years,” said Rivanna District Supervisor Kenneth C. Boyd said.

Dennis S. Rooker, the Rio District supervisor who typically is aligned with Dumler, expressed support for his embattled colleague.

“My observation is that [Dumler] has represented his constituents in the Scottsville District with intelligence and care,” he said. “He has been an attentive public servant, and he is innocent until proven guilty under our system, and any decision about whether he stays on the board is solely up to him.”

Samuel Miller District Supervisor Duane E. Snow said the case was too new to speculate on.

“I was shocked at the news, and I have every confidence that through our police department and the justice system, due process will be done,” he said.

Dumler operates a solo law practice in Scottsville, specializing in criminal defense, family law and traffic offenses.

He graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2009 after moving to Central Virginia from Georgia. According to his website, he is also a JAG officer in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Dumler defeated Republican James C. Norwood last fall following longtime Supervisor Lindsay G. Dorrier Jr.’s retirement. Dumler won almost 54 percent of the vote.

He is involved in a number of civic and professional groups and also serves as a volunteer firefighter.

In August, he gave up his Eagle Scout badge as a protest against the Boy Scouts of America’s views on gay rights, according to the Newsplex.

His blog says he served as a guest bartender at James River Brewery last month to benefit the Sexual Assault Resource Agency, a local organization focused on eliminating sexual violence.

The event, in which $1 was donated for every pint served, raised $34, according to the group’s interim director, Aaron Hernandez, who added that Dumler chose the resource agency as the beneficiary.

“If the allegations are true, it’s greatly troubling,” Hernandez said.

Supervisors do not have the authority to remove Dumler from office absent a felony conviction, said Albemarle spokeswoman Lee Catlin.

“Obviously, this is a very distressing and concerning situation,” Catlin said. “It is inappropriate for us to speculate on any specific outcome given that we are in the early stages of an ongoing investigation.”

Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney Dave Chapman filled in Thursday at Albemarle County prosecutors’ request, until a judge could appoint a special prosecutor.

A preliminary hearing for Dumler is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Dec. 13.

Staff Ted Strong contributed to this report.

 

_____

Authorities arrested Albemarle County Supervisor Christopher J. Dumler on Wednesday on a forcible sodomy charge, county police said this morning.

Dumler, 27, knew the victim and the charge stems from an incident that took place Oct. 4, according to the police.

No bond was set at a hearing in Albemarle County General District Court this morning. Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney Dave Chapman asked the court for more time to review the case before suggesting a bond.

A woman who identified herself as Dumler’s girlfriend offered to help post his bond.

A young lawyer who is something of a fixture on the Charlottesville-area social and political scene, Dumler has served in elected office for just 10 months.

Dumler operates a solo law practice in Scottsville, specializing in criminal defense, family law and traffic offenses.

He graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2009 after moving to Central Virginia from Georgia. According to his website, he is also a JAG officer in the U.S. Army Reserve.

A Democrat representing the Scottsville District, Dumler defeated Republican James C. Norwood last year following longtime Supervisor Lindsay G. Dorrier Jr.’s retirement.

Dumler won almost 54 percent of the vote and took office at the beginning of this year.

He is involved in a number of civic and professional groups and also serves as a volunteer firefighter.

In August, he gave up his Eagle Scout badge as a protest against the Boy Scouts of America’s views on gay rights, according to the Newsplex.

His blog says he served as a guest bartender last month to benefit the Sexual Assault Resource Agency, a local organization focused on eliminating sexual violence.

Forcible sodomy is a felony punishable by five years to life in prison, according to Virginia law.

A felony conviction would result in Dumler being removed from office.

If he were to resign, supervisors could choose an interim appointee until a special election or general election is held to fill the seat, according to county officials. The interim appointment would have to be made within 45 days of a resignation.

“Obviously this is a very distressing and concerning situation,” Albemarle spokeswoman Lee Catlin said in response to inquiries about Dumler’s status. “It is inappropriate for us to speculate on any specific outcome given that we are in the early stages of an ongoing investigation.”

The next supervisors meeting is scheduled for Nov. 7, according to the county calendar.

Dumler is being held at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail, police said.

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