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City of Fairfax names new police chief

Fairfax City officials have announced the selection of Carl Pardiny as police chief of the City of Fairfax Police Department. Officials say Pardiny, who has been the city’s deputy police chief since 2011, will lead the police department effective July 9.

Pardiny, who began as a city patrol officer in 1988 and rose through the ranks, was instrumental in the creation of many innovative programs, including the community bicycle patrol program and the city’s police canine program. He also initiated and developed the department’s first “evidence-based” community policing projects. Officials say his experience in the city’s police department is extensive, from firearms facility administration to employee training oversight, from helping achieve national accreditation to leading the department’s internal affairs investigation team.

Pardiny earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master of Public Administration degree from George Mason University. He graduated from the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Academy in 1989, and also attended the FBI National Academy and the University of Richmond Professional Executive Leadership School.

On selecting Pardiny as police chief, City Manager Robert Sisson said, “Carl Pardiny’s knowledge, innovative approach, dedication and leadership will help the city’s police department continue to excel in their delivery of services to the community.” Pardiny replaces Richard Rappoport, who retired from the city in May and now serves as Amtrak’s deputy chief for the mid-Atlantic and southeast region.

Woman stabbed in Falls Church

Fairfax County police are seeking information regarding a stabbing that occurred in the Falls Church area July 4.

Police said a 65-year-old woman was sitting in a shopping center parking lot, located at 7129 Leesburg Pike, with a group of friends watching fireworks around 10:30 p.m. when an unknown male approached her from behind and stabbed her in the upper body. The suspect fled on foot and a witness gave chase but lost sight of him.

Police said the woman was transported to a local hospital for treatment of her serious but non-life-threatening injuries. The suspect was described as white, possibly 18 to 20 years old, with short blonde hair. He was wearing a white tank top and shorts.

Fairfax bank robbery suspect sought by FBI

The FBI is seeking a Fairfax City bank robbery suspect.

Officials said a man robbed the TD Bank located at 11098 Fairfax Blvd. at approximately 7 p.m. July 3. They said the man, described as white, blonde, thin, and 5 feet 5 inches to 5 feet 7 inches tall, entered the bank, approached the teller and demanded money while allegedly brandishing a handgun. Officials said he received an undisclosed amount of cash. The man then exited the bank on foot in the direction of Bevan Drive and Kutner Park and got into a silver 4-door sedan and fled the scene.

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to the identification, arrest and conviction of this suspect.

Centreville’s Spa World under police investigation

Spa World, which calls itself the largest Asian-style spa in the U.S., is under police investigation after an employee there contacted Fairfax County police last year and made allegations of employer “abduction,” according to a search warrant affidavit recently filed in Fairfax County Circuit Court.

According to the affidavit, a 60-year-old Korean “body scrubber” told police in December that the spa recruited him from California to work there, but upon his arrival he said they confiscated his shoes and luggage and told him he could not leave the premises. Other employees claim similar experiences in the affidavit, as well as several other allegations against the spa, including “willful refusal to pay wages” and even prostitution.

In total, authorities estimate more than 50 employees, or former employees, are owed more than $500,000. Fairfax County police’s human trafficking unit conducted a search of the spa on July 2, seizing both paper and electronic records. Police said there have not been charges filed, but that the investigation is continuing and remains open. Spa World owner Sang K. Lee did not return messages left for him seeking comment.

Vienna house fire under investigation

The cause of a Vienna house fire that caused $150,000 in damage remains under investigation.

Fairfax County firefighters responded to a house fire at approximately 9:30 p.m. July 8 in Vienna.

The single-family home is located in the 10500 block of Dunn Meadows Road.

Firefighters said they encountered heavy smoke and fire coming from the rear of the first floor of the two-story home upon their arrival.

Officials said firefighters brought the fire under control in approximately 20 minutes. Working smoke alarms provided early warning to the five occupants who escaped unharmed. Two adults and three children have been displaced; Red Cross support was offered but declined. There were no injuries.

Alexandria man pleads guilty to fraud scheme

Christopher Cunningham, 46, of Alexandria pleaded guilty July 8 to a wire fraud scheme in which he admitted to soliciting investments, typically from elderly clients, based on fraudulent promises and representations.

In a statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Cunningham admitted to conducting the investment fraud scheme from approximately 2005 to 2011. During that time, he worked as an investment adviser, and in that position, solicited investments from clients who typically were elderly. According to court records, Cunningham promised these clients guaranteed returns and made false representations, including that he was not being personally compensated in connection with their investments and the money could be paid back in a single day if needed.

Once he obtained the money from these clients, however, Cunningham admitted to using it to fund his private companies and for his personal use. Cunningham repaid very little of his clients’ investments, and as a result of his fraud, investors lost more than $1 million, officials said. Cunningham faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on Oct. 3.

— Gregg MacDonald