WASHINGTON — A former American University department head has been sentenced to a year in prison for setting several small fires and breaking into a building near campus.

Thirty-eight-year-old David Pitts was sentenced Friday in D.C. Superior Court. He had pleaded guilty in January to burglary and identity theft as part of a plea deal.

On Sept. 4, 2014, prosecutors say Pitts set several small fires near campus before entering an office complex to steal prescription medications. Police later found more than 5,300 prescription pills and blank prescriptions pads in his apartment.

Pitts apologized in court, saying he hopes to get the opportunity to earn his loved ones’ trust again.

Pitts had been chairman of AU’s Department of Public Administration and Policy.

Pitts also faces charges of burglary, theft and destruction of property in Montgomery County.

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