Ex-bar owner faces prisonMADISON – A Superior man who admitted to conspiring to burn down his tavern in South Range was sentenced to four years and two months in prison Tuesday in federal court.
By: By Kevin Murphy, Superior Telegram
MADISON – A Superior man who admitted to conspiring to burn down his tavern in South Range was sentenced to four years and two months in prison Tuesday in federal court.
Bruce Lego, 42, also was ordered to repay his insurer $206,000.
Lego told District Judge Barbara Crabb that he didn’t intend to harm anyone and only had the Somewhere Else Bar burned down in July 2006 order to get it rebuilt into a better business.
“It was the worst mistake and the dumbest thing I could ever have done,” Lego said.
Lego began to tear up as he asked Crabb for leniency in order to continue to repay Wilson Mutual Insurance Co. and be the “dad that my children deserve.”
Lego’s attorney Erika Bierma had asked for a two-year sentence saying Lego wasn’t a pyromaniac, has lived crime-free for 20 years and took steps to ensure his tenant, Chad Lawrence, and Lawrence’s dog were out of the building before the fire was set.
Crabb said Lego’s actions did cost his insurer money, put firefighters in harm’s way and ruined the reputations of Antoine and Shawn Dalbec, who Lego hired to torch the tavern “but had the good sense not to.”
Nonetheless, Shawn and Antoine Dalbec each pleaded guilty last year to attempted arson and were sentenced to 18 and 12 months in prison, respectively.
Lego had “badgered” Shawn Dalbec into setting the fire in exchange for an $8,000 landscaping job, according to court documents. Antoine Dalbec drove his brother to the tavern on County Highway E on July 11, 2006, and using a key Lego had given him, Shawn entered the bar, lit some paneling on fire but quickly extinguished it.
The next day a fire destroyed the tavern.
Lego pleaded guilty to the arson conspiracy charge in May and admitted responsibility for the$206,000 loss but hasn’t said he started the fire.
Just before the fire, the bar wasn’t making money, the well was deemed an unsafe water source, and the utilities were about to be cut off, according to court documents.
Lego has already repaid $20,100 toward his restitution, Bierma said.
Crabb continued Lego’s release on conditions until Sept. 15 when he is to report to prison.