Amidst continuing turmoil over the “Dumler situation,”—and various attempts to force him from office—the most direct path to Supervisor Chris Dumler’s ouster may be a simple application of Albemarle County employee EEOC regulations.

Democrat Dumler, who recently pleaded guilty to misdemeanor sexual battery charges, has insisted that he will not resign from his Scottsville Magisterial District seat on the Board of Supervisors. However, he may be compelled to exit—if subject to the same rules as every other Albemarle County employee.

The County of Albemarle Personnel Policy, §P-02 B-2, Definition of Employee Status, references Supervisors, under Definitions of Employment:

Salaried Board Members:  Members of the Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission are paid an annual salary as established by county ordinance and state law.

In addition, section C-4, Extent of Participation in and Eligibility for Benefits, from the same document, states:

Salaried Board Member:  Eligible to participate in all medical and dental insurance programs.

Since Supervisor Dumler appears to meet the county definition of employee, he should be—like other county employees—subject to county personnel policies.

The County of Albemarle Personnel Policy, §P-21 A, EEOC Policy Statement Including Sexual Harassment Policy: assures these rules will apply to all county employees:

The policies contained in this section set forth provisions for initial and continuous employment of all personnel of Albemarle County.  In addition to policies established by the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors, the division shall comply with all applicable state and federal laws and regulations.

§P-21 C-I, Policy, states that all Albemarle County employees must undergo initial and ongoing “sexual harassment” training:

To ensure employees are informed of the County’s Sexual Harassment Policy and  trained on their rights and responsibilities under the policy, the Department of Human Resources (HR) will offer sexual harassment training to all new employees within 30 days of employment or appointment to the new position, and will offer training on an ongoing basis to existing employees.  It is the department director/office administrator’s responsibility to ensure new employees register for training. Additionally, all department directors/office administrators and supervisors should periodically attend refresher training on sexual harassment offered by HR and employees will receive a copy of the policy periodically.

§P-21 C-III B-18, Forms of Sexual Harassment, defines one form of sexual harassment as:

Giving sexually explicit notes or pictures or sexually offensive items to another.

Further, §P-21 C-III C, Forms of Sexual Harassment, speaks specifically to sexual battery, of which Supervisor Dumler has been convicted:

A third form of sexual harassment, sexual assault or battery, is prohibited by this policy and may constitute a crime. Substantiated allegations of sexual assault or battery constitute grounds for disciplinary action, including immediate leave without pay of the alleged harasser pending investigation. A finding of sexual assault or battery constitutes grounds for immediate dismissal. (Sexual assault or battery may include but is not limited to: Unwanted kissing, grabbing, pressing against or fondling of the intimate parts of another’s body or rape or forcing another to touch the intimate parts of one’s body.)

The Albemarle County Personnel Policy brings forth many heretofore-unasked questions:

  1. Did Supervisor Chris Dumler receive county-mandated sexual harassment training?
  2. Does county personnel policy apply to actions outside of the workplace?
  3. Does county personnel policy apply only when both parties are employed by Albemarle County?
  4. If Supervisor Chris Dumler sent sexually explicit notes from a county-issued electronic device (i.e. iPad), would that constitute sexual harassment as defined above?
  5. Does Supervisor Chris Dumler’s conviction on sexual battery charges subject him to “disciplinary action” and “immediate dismissal”?
  6. If one of Supervisor Chris Dumler’s victims brought forth a complaint, would Albemarle County Human Resources take action against the Supervisor?
  7. Could Supervisor Chris Dumler be stripped of his salary and benefits as a result of his sexual battery conviction?
  8. If so, who would make that decision?
  9. If, as an Albemarle County employee, Supervisor Chris Dumler is not subject to delineated county personnel policies, could other employees disciplined under these policies claim a violation of equal protection under the law?

Precedents set by Albemarle County in the disposition of these unanswered questions will have serious repercussions for future enforcement of county sexual harassment policies. Board of Supervisors members would be wise to seek counsel before dismissing such queries.

24 COMMENTS

  1. I live in the Scottsville district, did not vote for Mr.Dumler, am not a member of the GOP, but I do own 2 pitchforks and several flashlights. That all being said, I want Mr.Dumler to resign from the Board of Supervisors. I have even collected signatures on a petition, but not many, since almost everyone I have approached has already signed a petition. Up to this point everything I have written does not insult Mr.Dumler or anyone else. That is because I believe in civil discourse, and the discussions on social media have been civil if the person agrees with you, and divisive if they do not. Calling someone a peasant because they have an opinion different from yours, is just as wrong, as calling the person who made the peasant comment mean, spiteful, and pitiful. Also, attacking someone’s bushiness, because their personal politics do not agree with yours is not what this is about. Also, I have no problem with protest at events Mr.Dumler is attending, but if he is not there, then go have coffee and discuss your next move. The movement has lost its way. The issue is whether Chris Dumler should or should not go, and we must be like Mosbys raiders. Mosby only had one objective in each raid, and he stayed focused on that objective, which is why he was successful. Now, civilly and focused, on to why I think Mr.Dumler must go. Chris Dumler pleads guilty to misdemeanor sexual battery, and claims he took the plea bargain, because he could not afford the type of defense he would need in a jury trial. I have looked into this, and found that it is a fairly common practice for counsel to tell their clients to plead to a lesser charge, so they are not bankrupted trying to defend themselves. So, with out a trial, as Mr.Dumler has said, only two people know what really happened that night So, all we have is what is in the news, court documents, and the guilty plea to the misdemeanor charge of sexual battery. The total sum of events and information available has caused me to lose faith in my Supervisor. Mr.Dumler seems to think that if he just works hard enough, then we will once again have faith in him and his ability to lead. No, I do not believe Mr.Dumler can regain our trust that easily. I know that this issue resulted from a choice he made in his personal life, and he has the right in his home to do what he wants, unless it breaks the law, especially if another person is harmed. Mr.Dumler seems to treat the offense he was charged with, as nothing more than a barking dog disagreement with his neighbor. I see no remorse or humility in his statements or actions. He seems to think that issuing a court ordered apology is all he needs to say on the matter. Chris Dumlers actions tell me that he not only needs to resign from the BOS, but from everything else he is involved in. He should focus on his law practice and getting the counseling, which he obviously needs. I pray Chris will seek beyond the court ordered counseling, the help he really needs. There are many good LCSW’s in Albemarle and Charlottesville, who could help Chris become a better person. Chris is young, and he can get past this if he really seeks the help he needs. Chris, please heed my advice, because hard work and a boyish grin are not enough, and if Rob is right, and the rules that apply to other county employees, apply to you, then why not show a little class and leave, before you are fired by the county. I am sorry some one has threatened your life. I pray they are caught, because they have broken the law, and the spirit of our Constitution, which is not based on the threat of force or violence, but on good men and women engaging in civil discourse.

  2. I completely agree that Dumler should be held to the same standard as his fellow employees. Just because you're elected doesn't mean you're exempt from county policies. RESIGN, jerk!

  3. Excellent points and questions raised. Here's a few more I have as a resident of Albemarle County: Do Albemarle County Government employees have to pass a background check prior to employment? If so, wouldn't a conviction for sexual battery preclude employment? Are the same conditions required for continued Albemarle County Government employment as for new hires? Given a current Albemarle County Government employee is subsequently conviceted of sexual battery, wouldn't his continued employment by the Albemarle County Government, knowingly subject by Albemarle County Government – the rest of his Albemarle County Government coworkers, and the Albemalre County public (including children) he deals with as part of his Albemarle County Government job – to a hostile, even a dangerous enviroment? I intend to formally contact the Albemarle County Government regarding these serious issues.

  4. With his current admission of guilt, and with what is on his record. Mr. Dumler would not be allowed to be a police officer, teacher, substitute teacher or school bus driver. Given that, it would appear that going forward, our leaders should, upon election, be required to be vetted as well as any of the aforementioned positions. If he is unable to hold those positions, why should he be allowed to hold a position that is even higher than, and who must answer to, the position of supervisor?

  5. Great investigative work Rob. I am not sure he could be dismissed being an elected official, but at a minimum he certainly should be stripped of all pay and benefits.

  6. What about Dumler’s Army commission? I have seen nothing about the Army taking any action. I wouldn’t think the Army would be satisfied having a convicted sexual abuser interacting with fellow service men from a legal standpoint.

  7. Do Albemarle County employee EEOC rules for sexual harassment apply to Chris Dumler? If so, he may be in trouble. Read exclusive analysis.

  8. he should not be in this position anyway shape or form the people ruining this county are all on the Albemarle county board of supes all of you dumb folks are ruing our county and our name remove them all

  9. as far as i can tell there is not one person that i would want to keep on the board fire them all they are ruining Albemarle County some of them want to build the bypass some of them want to make the county part OF THE CITY and the we have this rapist ,what has happened to society as a whole have you all lost all the marbles that hold it together

  10. Other than Chris Dumler himself, I have yet to see or hear from ANYONE who directly supports him or his remaining in office. Is there not one citizen he “represents” that will stand up for him openly?

    This disgusting piece of garbage needs to resign and move far away.

  11. Other than Chris Dumler himself, I have yet to see or hear from ANYONE who directly supports him or his remaining in office. Is there not one citizen he “represents” that will stand up for him openly?

    This disgusting piece of garbage needs to resign and move far away.

  12. He is Trash! What if he raped your sister, daughter, mother?? I would have put him in jail where they would have put me or mine! Why the special treatment?? Police and everyone should be punished for not looking out for the safety of the public and letting this perv walk free!

  13. Because he is an elected official I do not believe that County Employee regulations would apply to him. As a retired county employee I feel that he should step down and stop all the fuss. As an elected official he should be stetting an example not demonstrating poor decision making, but he is on the BOS so what do we expect?

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