Press "Enter" to skip to content

How Rita Crundwell story played out for readers

The story of Rita Crundwell, the convicted former Dixon comptroller, played out in the news pages and websites of Shaw Media since her arrest on April 18, 2012.

Before that, however, the first evidence was discovered in the autumn of 2011 when Kathe Swanson, the acting comptroller at the time, discovered a secret account.

Crundwell was released from the federal prison in Pekin, local authorities learned on Wednesday.

Here are links to key moments:

April 18, 2012

In this file photo, then-Mayor Jim Burke speaks during a news conference on April 18, 2012, at Dixon City Hall.

In this file photo, then-Mayor Jim Burke speaks during a news conference on April 18, 2012, at Dixon City Hall. (Alex T/)

Dixon comptroller arrested in $30 million embezzlement scheme.

Youtube video posted by Sauk Valley News of the city of Dixon news conference announcing the arrest.

Crundwell freed on $4,500 bond.

Grand jurors in Lee County on Thursday indicted Rita Crundwell, the former comptroller for Dixon. Each count accuses her of stealing more than $100,000 in government property and carries a possible punishment of up to 30 years in prison. Before Thursday, Crundwell had faced just a single count of wire fraud in a federal case. She had pleaded not guilty.

Grand jurors in Lee County on Thursday indicted Rita Crundwell, the former comptroller for Dixon. Each count accuses her of stealing more than $100,000 in government property and carries a possible punishment of up to 30 years in prison. Before Thursday, Crundwell had faced just a single count of wire fraud in a federal case. She had pleaded not guilty. (AP file/)

April 28, 2012

This November 2011 photo shows Rita Crundwell, of Dixon, Ill., posing with Pizzazzy Lady at the 2011 American Quarter Horse Association World Championship Show in Oklahoma City. Crundwell is accused stealing $53 million from the city in northern Illinois by siphoning public funds into a secret bank account opened in 1990 while she was Dixon's comptroller. A judge on Thursday, May 3, 2012, granted the government's request for forfeiture of the 311 animals owned by Crundwell, which are now in the care of U.S. marshals. Federal prosecutors contend she used the funds to sustain a lavish lifestyle and her horse breeding operation. Crundwell was regarded as one of the best horse breeders in the country.

This November 2011 photo shows Rita Crundwell, of Dixon, Ill., posing with Pizzazzy Lady at the 2011 American Quarter Horse Association World Championship Show in Oklahoma City. Crundwell is accused stealing $53 million from the city in northern Illinois by siphoning public funds into a secret bank account opened in 1990 while she was Dixon’s comptroller. A judge on Thursday, May 3, 2012, granted the government’s request for forfeiture of the 311 animals owned by Crundwell, which are now in the care of U.S. marshals. Federal prosecutors contend she used the funds to sustain a lavish lifestyle and her horse breeding operation. Crundwell was regarded as one of the best horse breeders in the country. (AP Photo/)

Who is Rita Crundwell? This story looks at key elements of her life, her enthusiasm for horses and her long service as a Dixon official.

May 2, 2012

Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell (center) leaves the federal courthouse in Rockford on Wednesday afternoon after U.S. District Court Judge Michael Mahoney released her on a $4,500 recognizance bond. Crundwell, charged with wire fraud, had been jailed in Ogle County since her arrest Tuesday morning at Dixon City Hall. Walking with Crundwell are her attorneys, Paul Gaziano (left) and Kristin Carpenter.

Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell (center) leaves the federal courthouse in Rockford on Wednesday afternoon after U.S. District Court Judge Michael Mahoney released her on a $4,500 recognizance bond. Crundwell, charged with wire fraud, had been jailed in Ogle County since her arrest Tuesday morning at Dixon City Hall. Walking with Crundwell are her attorneys, Paul Gaziano (left) and Kristin Carpenter. (Chris Johnson/)

A FAQ that looked at key elements of the investigation and the case against Crundwell.

April 24, 2012

U.S. Public Defender Paul Gaziano and Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell leave the 
Federal Courthouse in Rockford Wednesday afternoon. Prosecutors say Crundwell, 59, 
took more than $30 million in taxpayer money.

U.S. Public Defender Paul Gaziano and Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell leave the
Federal Courthouse in Rockford Wednesday afternoon. Prosecutors say Crundwell, 59,
took more than $30 million in taxpayer money. (Chris Johnson/)

What the federal search warrants served against Crundwell revealed.

Feb. 14, 2013

Ex-Dixon comptroller sentenced to 19 years, 7 months.

Feb. 21, 2013

Seeing financial red flags: Sterling official told Dixon colleague the numbers seemed off

June 4, 2013

Crundwell transferred to Minnesota prison.

June 14, 2013

A $40 million oversight: Bank should have looked into suspicious withdrawals, city’s attorney says.

Dec. 26, 2013

Timeline of events related to Crundwell scandal.

April 12, 2014

Dixon Mayor Jim Burke speaks with the media after a special City Council meeting 
called Monday morning to fire city Comptroller Rita Crundwell, accused of 
misappropriating $30 million of the city’s money since 2006.

Dixon Mayor Jim Burke speaks with the media after a special City Council meeting
called Monday morning to fire city Comptroller Rita Crundwell, accused of
misappropriating $30 million of the city’s money since 2006. (Alex T/)

Mayor Burke saw a ‘cold angle’ to Crundwell and talks about changes after comptroller’s arrest and imprisonment.

May 27, 2015

In addition to her ranch in Dixon, fired Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell also raises 
and breeds quarter horses at the Meri-J Ranch in Beloit, Wis.

In addition to her ranch in Dixon, fired Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell also raises
and breeds quarter horses at the Meri-J Ranch in Beloit, Wis. (Will O/)

Judge orders Crundwell to forfeit horse-breeding trophies, other assets.

Oct 30, 2017

Dixon City Clerk Kathe Swanson honored for discovering Crundwell’s secret account.

April 24, 2018

Crundwell transferred to federal prison in Pekin.

Sept. 5, 2019

Dixon pays its respect to former mayor who alerted FBI over suspicions of Crundwell’s fraud

May 12, 2020

Former Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell is seen outside of the federal courthouse in Rockford on Wednesday morning after pleading guilty to a single count of wire fraud. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb.14.

Former Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell is seen outside of the federal courthouse in Rockford on Wednesday morning after pleading guilty to a single count of wire fraud. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb.14. (Alex T/)

Crundwell seeks compassionate release from federal prison, cites COVID-19

May 13, 2020

Dixon stands united in strong opposition to Crundwell release.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply

    %d bloggers like this: