Business happy arsonist going to prison

The vice-president of a Carson City business that was nearly destroyed by arson said she is pleased with the five-to-15-year sentenced imposed on the employee who started the blaze.

Earl Bishop, 32, was sentenced Tuesday to up to 15 years in prison for starting a fire that caused $1.25 million in damage June 21 at the business on Highway 50 East. The business, started in 1977, is owned by Ken and Charlene Cavallero.

"We did ask for the maximum sentence," said Sue Cavallero, vice president of Cavallero Heating and Air Conditioning. "It's not a relief, but somewhat a feeling of justice being done. Nothing will ever repair the damage or the stress and wear and tear on all of us.

"(Bishop) tearfully apologized to us before the judge gave the sentence and also apologized to his wife and kids. But he was not thinking about his children or any one of our employees' children when he did what he did."

"He could have put all 140 employees out of work, if we weren't the kind of company that could rebound from this," Cavallero said.

Bishop, a five-year employee of the company, was arrested July 10 after surveillance footage from the night of the fire showed him taking money from the petty cash box in the office after business hours. Police determined $750 had been stolen.

Cavallero said Bishop went into the business twice that night, taking a small amount of money then returning for more.

"He had plenty of time to think about what he was doing. He got scared and decided to get rid of the evidence (by starting the fire)," she said.

When Bishop was arrested, he was renting a room in Dayton from co-worker Mike Biggs and his wife, Angie, after having recently separated from his wife.

Angie Biggs said she and her husband were shocked to learn of Bishop's involvement in the fire.

"He's a nice guy, very caring. We just never thought he would do something like that," she said. Biggs believes an addiction to gambling and alcohol drove Bishop to commit the crime. "We even talked about the fire with him and who could have done it, and he never let on. He was a good actor."

Cavallero said that in the seven months since the blaze, the family constantly thinks of what happened.

"He's ruined our trust in mankind and employees. He was a trusted employee that's made it made it worse for everyone," she said.


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