Another arrest: Dem vice-chair charged with DUI

It's been a bad two weeks for Albemarle Democrats. On October 18, Supervisor Christopher Dumler was arrested for forcible sodomy. And on October 28, Cynthia Neff, the party's vice chair– and the woman who put up her house as collateral to post a $50,000 bond for Dumler– was arrested for driving under the influence.

Neff had almost reached her home in the northern part of Albemarle County near U.S. 29. This resident of the 3700 block of Pritchett Lane was pulled over early Sunday morning in the 3600 block. With a fanciful decoration around one eye, the 61-year-old appears to have been celebrating Halloween a few days early.

According to a release, an Albemarle police officer observed her drive erratically on U.S. 29 and followed. When he noticed an odor of alcohol, Neff was given and allegedly failed a field sobriety test. She was arrested and later released from Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail on her own recognizance, according to court documents, which list James A. Herring as the arresting officer.

Police have declined to release Neff's blood alcohol level.

Since retiring to Albemarle, the former IBM executive has been active in the community– including serving as president of the board of ASG, the local AIDS/HIV services group. However, the public may best know her from her political efforts which, most recently, include helping launch a political action committee, called Women’s Strike Force, to fight a "legislative assault on women" after this year's controversial law mandating pre-abortion medical testing.

In 2009, Neff challenged Delegate Rob Bell for the 58th District seat to the General Assembly but garnered only 33 percent of the vote. In 2011, she tried again for office by challenging Ken Boyd for the Rivanna seat on the Board of Supervisors, yet mustered only 43 percent of ballots cast in the race. It was that same election when then 26-year-old Dumler won the Scottsville seat on the Board of Supervisors.

In recent years, Virginia legislators have increased the penalties for driving while intoxicated. This year, all members of the local delegation to the General Assembly voted for the latest: a requirement that even first-time offenders install an ignition interlock to get a restricted license and operate a vehicle.

Neff did not return phone calls from the Hook. Nor did Albemarle Democratic chair Valerie L'Herrou. Neff is scheduled to be in court November 5.


Bad week for Dems...

And Halloween costumes...

Did she go as Mike Tyson?

She did go as Mike Tyson!

Next week we will find out how bad. I'm beginning to think a pro by pass entity is at work (not really) breaking into Southern Law Poverty center, and taking out people against the by pass right and left.

Having already lost two races I assumed Neff bailed out Dumler so that Dems would support her when she wants to get their nod for a third race . But, being arrested for DUI is probably too much baggage for her.

You can't make this stuff up!

The irony of Neff bailing out Dumler for committing forcible sodomy against a woman while starting the "Women’s Strike Force, to fight a 'legislative assault on women' after this year's controversial law mandating pre-abortion medical testing," is hysterical. Neff claims to want to come to a woman's defense, but when a local woman charges Dumler with anal rape, Neff comes to the aid of the (possible) rapist! Alcohol was part of the Dumler case, and part of this case too. Ironic that Dumler started a group here for Dems called Liberally Drinking. Nice. Now can we have new leadership? Albemarle County needs a new Vice Chairman, and now a new Chairman, for she has truly lost control of the local party. And right as we go to the polls. Do you know what you have done? There are independents who watch to see what candidates and the local party do when supporting candidates and how they handle campaigning and elections. They have turned against the party because of the likes of Neff and Dumler. Resign this weekend, all three of you! Do the right thing! How do you expect that this bad news will not have an effect on the outcome (at least locally) of this election.

Fear the Tea Party! LOL.

Neff should step down and Dumler (if convicted) as well.

Don't forget B. Carravatti. Power does weird things to people. Maybe certain types seek power...

She's in good company. Lawrence Eagleberger, former secretary of state for Bush #1 got popped for DUI here in Ablamov County as well.
DUI arrests are very all inclusive and it's not only "Socialists" who get nabbed, but "Fascists" as well...

Is it standard to withold BAC count, will that be mention on the Nov 5th hearing? Not that it matters much in this case just a question of procedure.

Can you imagine how many citizens could have been arrested a for DUI if they had been pulled over after a night or afternoon out. My guess, at one time or another 50% of those with a drivers license, and maybe higher.

I wonder how many DUI arrests would be made if a check point was installed on 151 where all the breweries and cideries are located.

The non-profits were over mined for candidates (Norris, Szakos, Smith), Huga worked for the City itself so when we found a business leader to be a Dem candidate (a former IBM exec) it seemed like just the ticket. Why she was put her out against Bell on her first race. It was the kiss of death for Merideth Richards. Now with this and two loses she has had it.

So...there isn't a poster on this board who's ever had a drink (or two) and gotten behind the wheel when they shouldn't have? I remember years ago, as a teen, being pulled over, under age and under the influence, and being told by the officer to be careful and to go home. That sort of thing no longer happens, thank goodness, times have changed...behaviors don't change as drastically sometimes. I don't for one minute condone drinking and driving, but I find it hard to believe that you're all "above it". While she may have behaved poorly, being a public figure doesn't make her guiltier. Careful with those rocks, you're going to destroy your glass house.

Neff's fb page stated she was going to the Live Arts fundraiser. When asked by a fellow poster if she were going to the after party (called AfterGlow), she responded "'I'm going to the dinner - yea! - and if I'm still standing by the time AfterGlow starts, I'll be there." Still standing? Yikes Cynthia, how old are you, 22? This was an intentional intoxication. MADD and SADD ought to be proud of her.

The Party needs to vote her out of her position as Vice Chair if she won't resign. And Dumler, if he insists on staying on as Supervisor, ought to be removed from the local party too. The Albemarle County Democratic Party is out of control. It needs new leadership, and to distance itself from Dumler and Neff.

This is wonderfully enteraining. Seriously, is the democratic party trying to land some type of loser reality show? Or, maybe a major motion picture.. I got it, Dumb and Dumbler! Whoops, already taken, kinda. On a more serious note maybe this will help the poor woman Dumbler raped. Now we are seeing the true colors of some of local officials.

Wow. So sad. All these apologists, with Nancy "I have an Obama Tattoo" Drew leading the charge for us to take mercy and kindness on Drunk Drivers.

Guessing she hates GBush for quitting the drink...

My point is not to condone drunk driving, in fact just the opposite. I would argue for more sobriety check-points in our community.

Right Drew. You jump to one side if its a dem and another if a GOP. Your colors and stripes are transparent.

Sobriety Checkpoints? You mean police barricades stopping 100% of the citizens on the street?

Please, the first time you get stuck in that long line of traffic you would be squealing like a stuck pig

Talk about fascist! more check points!

50plus% population locked up. just tell me where to report Angel Eyes and Nancy so I can stay out of your way

I'm not a lawyer and I don't play one on TV. My other habits are equally good.

It would be nice if all the stone throwers would wait and see if either of these folks is convicted. We are all innocent until proven guilty.

The facts are yet to be revealed in either case.

Relax and wait for the trials.


You clearly don't pay attention to what I write. I'm far from supporting more checkpoints. In fact I think today's enforcement is a function of what's sometimes referred to as "moral panic", a reaction where extremely harsh sanctions are applied to behaviors seen as threatening society's fabric. I actually think DUI laws should go back to where they once were where .010% BAC was not considered "per se" evidence, but only "presumptive" where the police had to show other evidence that a driver was drunk. .015% was the "per se" level.
On another note, I've known legions of people convicted of DUI over the years, and the ones whose driving habits were known to me were all lousy drivers who were inattentive, failed to use turn signals, rolled through stop signs, contested the right of way when turning left, drove with lights out,dead stickers,etc. and their crappy habits were getting them pulled over when sober as well. So when drinking they were even worse behind the wheel and an easy mark for the cops. I don't think anyone who isn't doing anything else wrong should ever suffer getting jacked up by the cops when the only evidence is the smell of alcohol....I'm sure to get flamed for this...

Angel Eyes --- did you read the part about "Albemarle police say an officer pulled her over after he observed her driving erratically along Route 29"? Enough said!

distressed debt has a good outlook across all
capital markets.

although dumler and neff would never attract the attention
of third point capital ; or clarium capital;; they have that
second life possibility; the sinner who can go on
the circuit and preach to those at risk.

the possibilities are ripe; that precious moment with coy barefoot.;
the one on one with brian wheeler; stops at our local houses of worship;

this distressed debt is worth the volatility ; and has a big payoff.

Hey ... put those roadside cops to investigate campus rapes at UVA. They follow the law to the letter! It is VERY important to arrest people for drinking but not important to arrest rapists. Wahoo!

Holy crap! What the hell is that on her face??

I'd get drunk too if I woke up and I had that tattoo on my face!

Is she trying out for a part in the Hangover 3

She was only a block away from home. I don't see why the cop couldn't just let her walk home from there.

Webster52...Our neighbor, X, now dec'd, several years ago was caught for drunk driving when he was almost home and sent to jail that night. I assume the standard practice is you are going to jail regardless of how close you are to home. Standard practice is good enough for the more wealthy or any politician around here also. If special favoritism was found out it would be worse for her. I've seen a lot of rich and poor ruined by drink around here.

Her face is supposed to be Gorbachov. (breathe...let it go if the spelling is wrong...breathe and release; and again.)

A block away from home? What a rotten roll of the dice. Still, one might think a retired IBM exec could afford a cabby or at least recruit a designated driver.

Maybe the policeman followed her to a safer place to test and arrest her rather than pull her over on 29N.

St. Halsey October 29th, 2012 | 4:07pm

Is it standard to withold BAC count, will that be mention on the Nov 5th hearing? Not that it matters much in this case just a question of procedure.

She may have refused the test. This would result in an automatic 1 year suspension of her license, assuming it is her first time.

Webster52 October 30th, 2012 | 10:13am

She was only a block away from home. I don't see why the cop couldn't just let her walk home from there.

Because he had witnessed her breaking the law and Driving Under the Influence of alcohol, allegedly, and he was/is required to arrest her and bring her to the police station for booking, no matter how close to him she was. Should a law enforcement officer initiating pursuit of a suspect whom he has witnessed stealing a tank of gasoline from the Citgo one mile from the suspect's home just issue the suspect a court summons and let him go home, since he was already so close to home?

Sucks to be her. DUI is a weird thing, you have all these restaurants and bars selling alcohol, but how do you get there unless you drive? Watch your alcohol intake, 1 beer is ok, is 2 too much? How about 1 1/2? Depends on your body weight, what's in your stomach, 100 different factors. Or use a designated driver, that's real fun for the DD, good luck recruiting someone to do that on a regular basis. Makes it a lot more appealing to just stay home.

There but by the grace of God go eye.

i think they should investigate UVA? is there any recourse for uva students against an institution that does whatever it wants?

The Democratic Party in the Charlottesville area has been behaving very poorly recently, and deserves new leadership. Check out these 4 stories from the Hook about 2 ex-Mayors, a current supervisor and the current Vice Chairman of the party. The folks are all still active in the party:

Frank Buck, former Charlottesville Democratic Mayor and Councilman (1980 to 1988), arrested on November 11, 2010 and charged with assault; sentenced March 2011:

Blake Caravati, former Charlottesville Democratic Mayor and Councilman (1998 – 2006), arrested and charged with assault and battery; Arrested September 9, 2011, sentenced Oct 21, 2011:

Christopher J Dumler, current Democratic Supervisor in Albemarle County (Scottsville District), was arrested October 18, 2012 for Forcible Sodomy that occurred October 4, 2012 in Albemarle County:
Note: Dumler’s $50,000 bond was posted by Albemarle County Democratic Vice Chairman and twice-candidate for political office, Cynthia Neff.

Cynthia Neff, current Vice Chairman of the Albemarle County Democratic Party was arrested for DUI on Sunday October 28, 2012 at 2:00 a.m. after a night of drinking at a local fund raiser.

@ Cvillian: Breaking the law doesn't know party lines so let's leave politics out of this. But just as a reminder... what about the Tea Party candidate, Ms. Morton who ran as a family-values candidate but had lost custody of her children b/c, according to court transcripts, the judge feared her anger issues were harmful to her children. Then she was accused of plagiarism. And then she was arrested for fraud. As I said, stupidity and breaking the law have nothing to do with political affiliation.