WASHINGTON — An American University department head who was arrested and accused of breaking into a building near campus and setting a fire is expected in court.

Professor David Pitts is expected in Superior Court in Washington on Monday for a preliminary hearing. He is charged with burglary. A police report accuses Pitts of breaking into the Foxhall Square Shopping Mall early Thursday and setting a fire in its parking garage.

The university says Pitts is on leave until more is known about the matter, and the school is cooperating with the police investigation. Pitts had been chairman of AU’s Department of Public Administration and Policy. The university says his responsibilities have been reassigned.

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