Prosecutors dismiss the state theft charges against Dixon's former comptroller. But Rita Crundwell is still headed to federal prison. The Lee County State's Attorney says it would be a waste of taxpayers' time and money to keep pursuing state charges against Crundwell.
"It would be futile to proceed at this point," says Anna Sacco-Miller, Lee County States Attorney.
Sacco-miller says that's why she dropped the theft charges against Crundwell. Dixon's former comptroller pleaded guilty in federal court to stealing more than $53 million from the city when she worked there.
Crundwell was given a nearly 20 year sentence. Her defense attorney had already been trying to get the state charges dropped on the grounds of double-jeopardy.
"The federal court when issuing the sentence and taking the plea agreement inquired of the prosecutors if she was indeed pleading guilty to the charges in federal court that encompassed the charges in state court and they acquiesed and said that she was," says Bob Thompson, Lee County Public Defender.
But Sacco-Miller says that is not why she dismissed the case. She says based on the maximum sentence Crundwell could get from the state Crundwell would likely finish her state sentence while still in prison on federal charges. The government also already has her turning over every asset and any future money she might get. On top of that Sacco-Miller believes it will cost at least $300-thousand for the county to try Crundwell.
"Based on all those reasons I've determined it would be more of a financial burden to proceed. I feel that as my duties as state's attorney of Lee County one of my duties is to protect taxpayer money and to ensure that justice is served," says Sacco-Miller.
Some Dixon residents are ready for the Crundwell case to be over.
"I'm glad it didn't go on and on and on and on and cost us more money," says Debra Herwig.
"I think just was served as much as it will be," says Joyce Gibson.
The U.S. Marshals are now in the process of transferring Crundwell to a federal prison to serve out her 20 year sentence.
The sixty counts of theft Rita Crundwell faced in Lee County court have been dropped.
The former Dixon comptroller was sentenced on February 14 to almost 20 years in prison for stealing over $53 million from the City of Dixon between 1990 and 2012. She was arrested for one count of federal wire fraud in April of last year.
State charges were filed against her in September. Those charges were dropped during a hearing on April 30, 2013. Lee County State's Attorney Anna Sacco-Miller said the potential cost of the trial and the fact that Crundwell would get a sentence concurrent to her federal one, and therefore would not serve any additional time, factored into the decision to drop the charges. Crundwell's lawyer argued the case was double jeopardy.
13 News Reporter Rebecca Klopf was in Dixon Tuesday and will have a full report on the proceedings on 13 News at 5 & 6.
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