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Charges dropped against Rita Crundwell

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At a brief hearing in Lee County, the state dropped charges previously filed there against former Dixon comptroller Rita Crundwell.

At the hearing Tuesday morning, April 30, 2013, Lee County State’s Attorney Anna Sacco-Miller said the state was dropping all 60 counts of theft filed against Crundwell on behalf of the State of Illinois.   The indictment alleged Crundwell stole more than $11 million in less than two-and-a-half years.

She pleaded not guilty to those charges October 31, 2012.

Sacco-Miller "concluded that further State level prosecution would not result in any additional or further penalties beyond what has been imposed in the Federal Sentencing Order based upon the Illinois Sentencing Guidelines," said a statement from Sacco-Miller's office.  "Additionally, the financial burden which would be imposed upon the County in trying the case simply cannot be justified if no additional jail time or further restitution would result from a conviction."

The statement said federal and state convictions are required to run concurrent (simultaneously) under Illinois sentencing guidelines, so any likely state sentence would end before Crundwell completes her federal prison sentence.

When the state charges were filed, Dixon Mayor Jim Burke said he saw them as a backup plan in case the federal charges didn’t result in a conviction.

Crundwell pleaded guilty November 14, 2012 to a federal wire fraud charge.  The charge alleged she used her position as Dixon’s comptroller to take more than $53 million from Dixon city accounts.

Crundwell was sentenced to just over 19 years in prison.  With good behavior, she is expected to be in federal prison until she is 77 years old.

Crundwell has an appeal pending for her federal sentence.

"If for some reason, the sentence is vacated or overturned, the Lee County State's Attorney's Office would still have approximately two years to re-file the charges," said Sacco-Miller's statement.

Get more coverage of the Rita Crundwell case – click here.

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