Albemarle County Supervisor Christopher J. Dumler apologized to a woman who accused him of forcible sodomy and alluded to his political future Wednesday.
"The incident in question that led to these legal difficulties began when I made a decision to become sexually involved with a woman I was social with in Scottsville," Dumler said in a written statement. "The legality or illegality of any of this notwithstanding, I acted inappropriately and I would like to make a formal apology to her. Obviously, my actions — as evidenced by her reaction — left her upset and distressed, and I certainly never meant for that to happen; I am sincerely sorry."
Dumler was arrested and charged with felony forcible sodomy last fall, and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor sexual battery Jan. 31. He is steadfastly holding on to his seat on the board, despite repeated calls for his resignation.
He is unlikely to seek a second term, he said. He was elected in 2011 and has nearly three years left in his first term.
"It's far enough away now that I have not really been thinking about it, but I have no plans to run again," he said.
Dumler's statement and a series of interviews with local news outlets was the first time he had spoken publicly about the incident.
Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Ann H. Mallek, a Democrat, and Dennis S. Rooker, an independent, both said Tuesday the youngest supervisor in county history should resign. Both had previously supported Dumler.
Protesters interrupted a county budget public hearing Monday with calls for Dumler to resign. Some residents of the Scottsville District have circulated a petition to begin the process to have a court decide whether Dumler can be removed from office.
Dumler said in a statement Wednesday he will hold on to his seat to keep his Scottsville District from being thrown into disarray.
"I have been a moderate and an important voice on behalf of the residents of southern Albemarle when it comes to these issues, and a change in the composition of the board resulting from an unelected interim supervisor replacing me would likely be the difference on a number of votes and issues affecting growth area expansion, rural area preservation, investment in education, and the funding of important capital improvement projects that help us maintain our quality of life here in Albemarle County," the statement said.
Dumler, a Democrat, usually votes in line with Mallek and Rooker. Supervisors Kenneth C. Boyd, Rodney Thomas and Duane E. Snow, all Republicans, form the other half of a 3-3 voting bloc. If Dumler leaves the board, Democrats fear Republicans will gain a voting advantage.
Dumler was censured by a 5-0 vote of his fellow supervisors Feb. 6. Mallek and Rooker voted no on a motion to ask for his resignation. That motion passed, 3-2.
The petition needs 372 signatures, or 10 percent of the number of votes cast in the election Dumler won. Conviction of a felony would have triggered an automatic removal.