U.S. Marshals to Pay for Care for Ousted Comptroller Rita Crundwell's Horses for Now

By: Lauren Kravets
By: Lauren Kravets

Mayor Burke said, “I contacted the FBI about it if they wanted the information. They said they have a very good handle on it they have got people in charge of this whole horse operation that have experience that know what they're doing. I'm confident the FBI has a good handle on this horse operation."

UPDATE 5/3: U.S. Marshals will continue to take care of Rita Crundwell's hundreds of horses and her employees.

Crundwell is accused of stealing more than 50 million dollars from taxpayers while acting as Dixon's comptroller. At a court appearance today she told a judge she had no objections to U.S. Marshals taking over her more than 300 horses. Her employees have been feeding and caring for them since mid April. They'll now be paid by U.S. Marshals. Eventually, prosecutors hope to sell the horses to repay the city.


DIXON (WIFR) -- It's been a week since Dixon's comptroller was fired for allegedly stealing more than $30 million of taxpayer money. However, there are still many unanswered questions as the city tries to move past the scandal including the condition of Crundwell's horses.

It's taking longer than expected--that's what Dixon Mayor Jim Burke says about the search for a new comptroller.

Burke said, "It's not moving as fast as I wanted it to we've been meeting to death with people and we want to make sure we're on good grounds."

Dixon Mayor Jim Burke says he's been meeting with accountants and attorneys on a daily basis and he has a conference call with former city officials tomorrow. He says he's trying to get the best advice on choosing the next comptroller. As of now, City Clerk Kathe Swanson is filling in.

Burke says he wants to be cautious so people aren't scammed out of money again. Money he's now trying to recover. The FBI told Burke he'd be contacted by a forfeiture team, but he's uncertain when that will happen.

Many community members say they're still shocked by Crundwell's alleged theft but now they're looking to the city to move forward from this scandal.

Dixon resident Matthew Curtis said, "It seems like everybody has moved passed her and now they're moving on to higher accountability, Mayor Burke and everyone else."

Many are also wondering what's going to happen to Crundwell's hundreds of horses for her breeding business, including the ones at her two ranches in Dixon and Beloit.

Burke also says he's received a lot of calls wondering about the horses.

He said, "I've been contacted by a lot of people from around the country offering auction services and they want to do this they want to do that making suggestions about the horses."

So he contacted the FBI to pass along their suggestions.

Burke said, "They said they have a very good handle on it they have got people in charge of this whole horse operation that have experience that know what they're doing. I'm confident the FBI has a good handle on this horse operation."

A spokesman for the U.S. District Attorney could only say that the horses are being well cared for and they expect a detailed announcement soon.

The next board meeting is on May 7th, that is when Dixon residents can speak publicly about the scandal. Crundwell will also be in court that same day.

These aren't the first charges she's faced. Crundwell settled a lawsuit last year when two former employees said she didn't pay them overtime and minimum wages. The federal lawsuit was filed in November of 2010. Armando Valdes and Trinidad Sanchez filed the suit against Crundwell and her ranch business, RC Quarter Horses. LLC.


You must be logged in to post comments.

Username:
Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:

Read Comments

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Rascalady Location: Texas on May 19, 2012 at 06:54 PM
    MAYOR BURKE HAS NOT BEEN TRUTHFULLY INFORMED BY THE U S MARSHAL'S OFFICE ABOUT THE CARE OF RC's HORSES! They have not funded a penny where fifty of her most valuable horses are located. Crundwell may have misappropriated funds but she had the best people in the equine industry caring for the horses. They too, like the city of Dixon, were completely blindsided by all this and left holding the bag--hay bag,that is. If the citizens of Dixon want to get back as much money as possible the Feds need to tell the truth and get funds flowing to feed and care for these horses. Technically RC may still own these horses and in some states when an owner does not pay for board and care they are sold at sheriff's auction to satisfy liens. There are people out there who will pay big money for these horses when and if the clueless U S Marshal's office understands how all this works. The people who are willing to care for these horses have done everything the U S Marshal's office has asked of them and still no help from them. If the folks caring for these horses don't get financial help soon there may not be any horses to sell.
  • by Jack Location: Orlando, FL on May 14, 2012 at 10:08 AM
    I was born in Dixon. My great grandparents farmed in South Dixon and knew her grandparents, the Schicks who came from Germany mid 1800's and were honest hardworking farmers nearby. The family was well respected and must be turning in their graves about having a scumbag such as Rita. I guess the first million she stole was the hardest, then it got easy since no one was paying attention. Lift up the jail, put her under it and forget her!
  • by Ulta Concerned Location: Canada on May 8, 2012 at 02:47 PM
    During the investigation, fall of 2001,by the FBI , while Rita Crundwell was at the AQHA World Show on vaccation. While there, she and Jim McKillim, made the annoucment of an Amatuer Fund of upto 50,000.00 to commence at the Congress and World Shows,starting this past fall of 2011. If the Amatur showed the top placing RC horse in the show. Amazing how they actually were now giving money away that belonged to the residients of Dixon.Is there a fund set up at the AQHA for these monies? If yes do the "winners" have to pay the incentive $$ back to Dixon? As at the time of winning theses incentives at these 2 shows,the FBI were already involved (unknown to Rita and Jim ), and knew that monies were being stolen. this whole thing may take years to figure out not just months. Not only are horses and vehicles involed but $$$ in TACK and Artwork. What about those yearly Birthday parties in Florida paid for by Dixon. Best of luck to all the investigators
  • by Concerned on May 5, 2012 at 09:50 PM
    AQHA should register those foals and honer the transfers so that the good people of Dixon get the most money back possible. Now is the time for AQHA to take a hard look inside of the association and make sure they are hearing people on the outside and address some of the conserns people are leaving. They are more than just a registration assoc they back the shows write the rules and hand out awards by standards that they set so they need to make sure they are being followed. Fighters football and baseball players are tested for steroids because they are not allowed horses can be tested for things too. Enforce the rules and put one in place for situations like Rita she may be the first to get caught but I'm sure she won't be the last
  • by Dave on May 5, 2012 at 09:00 AM
    I guess this headline should actually read "United States tax payers to pay for care of ousted comptroller Rita Crundwell's horses for now" The other flaw in this headline is that Rita Crudwell (yes Crudwell) no longer owns anything. Everything she had she stole.
  • by sam on May 5, 2012 at 03:09 AM
    NoLove, what do you want the AQHA to do? The FBI is investigating (as in ONGOING). The AQHA really has no investigative authority and has no legal position in what the Feds decide to do about the horses in Rita Crundwell's possession. The AQHA is simply waiting for the investigations to be completed and most likely is following the directives of the Feds and/or their legal counsel on refraining from making any further statements. Specifically, what do you expect from them?
  • by sam on May 4, 2012 at 03:46 AM
    Sue, the AQHA has NO culpability in this mess. The AQHA does not exist to perform audits and indepth background checks on people who register animals with them. AQHA is a quarter horse registry only and they have no legal grounds to investigate a person's financial status before accepting membership or registrations. You also don't know that she paid off any judges. Although the evidence looks as if she's guilty, she is an accomplished horsewoman, breeder, and exhibitor. You sound like you have a lot of sour grapes and if you can prove any of your points, step right up with your evidence and proof. None of my comments are intended to show any support of Ms. Crundwell's criminal behavior in ANY way, shape, manner, or form. For the record, I am astounded that any person can steal, regardless of the amount, and should pay the maximum penalties that the law allows.
  • by kitty Location: rockford on May 3, 2012 at 07:30 PM
    REALLY?? Those horses should be sold at an auction immediately. She stole from taxpayers and now the taxpayers are going to pay for the upkeep of her ill-gotten horses?? NO WAY!! Sell them now & put the money BACK where it came from--the city coffers. God, how ignorant!!
  • by Whoa There! Location: Poplar Grove on May 3, 2012 at 01:26 PM
    This woman is a disgrace to every hard working person in the horse world. There are some of us, who would be happy with 1 horse, a hand-me-down saddle, and a crappy trailer pulled by any vehicle that could get the job done...but Ms. Crundwell couldn't be happy without 311 horses and a 2.6 million dollar luxury motor home? And what really astounds me, is that this ego-centric wench had to settle a lawsuit because she wouldn't pay her employees?! As far as I'm concerned, she doesn't deserve an opinion as to what happens with her ill-gotten possessions. Every step should be taken to insure that the horses are well cared for (Lord knows they didn't do anything wrong!)...but her opinion doesn't matter because they were never her horses to begin with!
  • by dd Location: here on May 3, 2012 at 01:01 PM
    so is that code for....the taxpayers are paying for the care of her horses?
  • Page:
23 WIFR 2523 North Meridian Road Rockford, IL. 61101 Business: 815-987-5300 Fax: 815-965-0981 News: 815-987-5330 Fax: 815-987-5333
Copyright © 2002-2016 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 149531455 - wifr.com/a?a=149531455
Gray Television, Inc.