- Associated Press - Thursday, May 7, 2015

CHICAGO (AP) - A suburban Chicago contractor accused of setting fire to an air traffic control facility is scheduled for arraignment in federal court.

Thursday’s hearing in Chicago would give 37-year-old Brian Howard a chance to enter a plea. Other factors could delay that, including if there’s word of any plea agreement.

The September fire shut down O’Hare and Midway international airports.

The Naperville man was a contract employee at the Aurora facility. Authorities say he cut cables and set fire to a basement telecommunications room.

He’s charged with one count of willfully setting fire at an air navigation facility; and one of using fire to commit a federal felony. If convicted, he could face up to 30 years in prison.

His attorney has previously said Howard “accepted responsibility for his conduct.”


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