Fairfax Co. staff attorney to retire, reorganize office

WASHINGTON – Fairfax County’s staff attorney, who county supervisors say gave bad advice related to the investigation of a fatal police shooting, will retire next summer.

Following a closed-door session Tuesday, the County Board of Supervisors announced that David Bobzien would retire in June 2016. In the meantime, Bobzien is expected to reorganize the daily operations of the office and to share more information. The office is separate from the commmonwealth attorney’s office, which serves as the local prosecutor.

Bobzien’s departure is the latest fallout from the county’s handling of the shooting death of 46-year-old John Geer, who was killed by police in the entrance of his Springfield home in 2013. The case has resulted in a lawsuit and scrutiny from Congress but no criminal charges or departmental reprimands for those involved.

Bobzien was in the room for the announcement, which came after supervisors had said earlier in the afternoon that they were concerned about the advice Bobzien’s deputies provided the police department related internal investigations. One of those deputies would have taken over the office had Bobzien left now.

Board members also expressed concerns that Bobzien did not share a request from county prosecutor Ray Morrogh for a meeting with the board after police refused to turn over files related to Geer’s death.

The police department did not release the name of the officer who killed Geer until January, under a court order.

The county also faces scrutiny from members of Congress, who have questioned the secrecy surrounding Geer’s death and whether the Fairfax County Police Department has been cooperating with federal investigators.

A search for Bobzien’s replacement is expected to begin by the end of the year.

WTOP’s Max Smith contributed to this report from Fairfax, Virginia.

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