Former MSPCA Manager Pleads Guilty To Arson

BOSTON (AP) — A former manager at the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has been sentenced to four years of probation after pleading guilty to starting a fire at the animal hospital last year.

William Fitzgerald, of Plymouth, was sentenced Wednesday on one count of arson and one count of injuring a firefighter. Under his sentencing, the 53-year-old must also pay more than $30,000 to MSPCA-Angell for damages and unemployment benefits. He also was ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation and perform 100 hours of community service.

Fitzgerald was the MSPCA manager of buildings and grounds when police said he set the fire in February 2010.

No animals or workers were injured.

MSPCA-Angell president Carter Luke said the damage from the fire is still being cleaned up.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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