On March 20, American University professor David Pitts was sentenced to serve one year and a day in prison for second-degree burglary. Pitts was arrested in September 2014 after breaking into an office building on New Mexico Avenue. According to the D.C. Superior Court, Pitts will also serve 182 days for theft of the first degree.
Prosecutors claimed Pitts broke into the building intending to steal prescription medications. He was arrested after he lit several fires in the area. He was caught in an office building trying to steal prescription pads, medication and controlled substances.
The police later found more than 5,300 prescription pills and blank prescription pads in Pitts’s apartment. In January, he pleaded guilty to the burglary charge.
Judge Zoe Bush acknowledged Pitts’s longstanding mental health and substance abuse issues during the sentencing hearing. However, the judge said the professor needs to spend time in prison as the fires he set prove that he presents danger to society.
Pitts is the former chair of the Department of Public Administration and Policy. His employment status is now on review, said Kelly Alexander, University Director of Public Relations.
”I owe my people an apology,” Pitts said of the university, its students and his partner of six years. “I ask for their forgiveness and the opportunity to earn their trust.”