DIXON (WIFR) – A 60-count theft indictment filed by the state against former Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell has been dropped.
The hearing took less than 5 minutes. Lee County State’s Attorney Anna Sacco-Miller handed the judge a paper to dismiss state charges against Rita Crundwell. She said the charges no longer made sense.
“The length of the federal sentence, the fact that there’s already a restitution order and forfeiture order entered and the fact that the state charges will not bring any further penalties or any more restitution than there has already been ordered by the federal court,” said Sacco-Miller.
If the state had proceeded and there was a conviction, Crundwell would have received a maximum of 15 years in prison to be served concurrently with her nearly 20-year federal sentence.
“She would actually have her state sentence served before her federal sentence is complete.”
The Public Defender who represented Crundwell agrees with the state.
“Serving a concurrent term in the state court, she’d be serving less time, and there’d be no additional penalties, so she did the right thing," said Lee County Public Defender Bob Thompson.
Dixon resident Joyce Gibson thinks so too. She’s glad this process is almost over.
“It’s been one of hope that we would have it settled,” Gibson. Gibson says she’s also happy the state is nixing a trial because of the price-tag. It would’ve cost taxpayers at least $300,000.
There’s currently a pending federal appeal for Crundwell’s sentence. If something happens and prison time is reduced, the state still has a right to reconsider the dismissal of the charges.
The state initially filed charges because the U.S. Attorney’s office told the previous State’s Attorney that they only expected a maximum sentence of 10 years. That changed however once Crundwell plead guilty and admitted to money laundering, which increased the sentencing.
Crundwell was not in court today. She’s still in the Boone County Jail. Now that charges have been dropped, the feds will assign her to a federal prison. In the meantime, U.S. Marshals continue to sell her property. Her Florida home sold for more than $260,000, about five grand more than the listing price. They’re also pursuing interest on nearly 70 acres of land in a family trust and there’s still three vehicles left to sell. You can find them at http://www.appletowing.com/.
The auction closes May 7th.
DIXON (WIFR) – Dixon’s ousted comptroller Rita Crundwell is no longer facing state charges.
Lee County’s State’s Attorney, Anna Sacco-Miller, made the announcement this morning at what was scheduled to be a status hearing.
The county charged Crundwell with sixty counts of felony theft for allegedly embezzling more than $50 million dollars from the city of Dixon. But as you may recall, Crundwell already plead guilty in federal court, and she’s currently serving a nearly 20 year prison term.
That’s why Crundwell’s public defender, Bob Thompson, filed a motion to dismiss the state charges days after she was sentenced. Thompson claimed they would have constituted double jeopardy.
Sacco-Miller agrees. But she also argued that going to trial would have put too much of a burden on taxpayers. She estimates it would have cost around $300,000.
Even if Crundwell was found guilty, she would have served the sentence concurrently. As it stands now, Crundwell won't get out until she is about 80 years old.