Rooker, Mallek join chorus for Dumler resignation - The Daily Progress: News

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Rooker, Mallek join chorus for Dumler resignation

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Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 9:26 pm | Updated: 2:10 am, Wed Feb 27, 2013.

Albemarle County Supervisor Christopher J. Dumler is out of allies among his board peers.

"I now realize that this is about much more than Mr. Dumler,"  board Chairwoman Ann H. Mallek said Tuesday. "We have a crisis of confidence in the county ... and I just sense a cloud over the whole operation, and I would like that to be over."

Both Mallek, a Democrat, and Supervisor Dennis S. Rooker, an independent, called for Dumler's resignation Tuesday. Their remarks came following a wave of protest Monday night during a public hearing on the county budget. Police escorted one protester from Lane Auditorium in the County Office Building after a profane outburst.

Mallek and Rooker dissented Feb. 6 in a 3-2 vote urging the youngest supervisor in county history to resign following his Jan. 31 guilty plea to misdemeanor sexual battery. Supervisors voted 5-0 to censure Dumler. Dumler abstained from both votes.

Mallek said she sees Dumler's presence putting an unfair burden on county staff.

Rooker said the meeting Monday did not change his opinion.

"This has been my position all along. My position has not changed on this," he said.

Rooker said this did not represent a turn from his opposition earlier this month to the board calling on Dumler to quit.

"My personal opinion is that it would be better for the county and [Dumler] for him to resign, but he is legally qualified to serve. The voters elected him and the decision is his to make," Rooker said Tuesday.

"I think the appropriate action for the board was to censure him," Rooker said.

Mallek said her biggest concern is fair representation of Dumler's Scottsville District if he resigns.

"If the Board of Supervisors appoints someone for a transition, it is important that that person is true to the values of the district," she said.

A petition is circulating in Dumler's district to have a court decide whether Dumler can be forced to resign.

A section of the state code allows a judge to remove an elected official for neglect or misuse of office or official incompetence. The law also references drug and hate crimes and inclusion on the state sex offender registry, which Dumler's offense does not require.

In Dumler’s case, the code requires a petition signed by 372 registered voters in his Scottsville District -- 10 percent of the number who voted in the election that Dumler won -- to get the removal question before a judge.

Dumler was arrested in October and charged with felony forcible sodomy. He was released after local Democrat Cynthia Neff used her house as collateral on his $50,000 bail.

Dumler has applied to serve his 30-day jail sentence on weekends. The request is still pending. He is scheduled to report to jail March 8.








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