DIXON — The City of Dixon has confirmed that Rita Crundwell was released this week from the Federal Corrections Institution in Pekin, Illinois. On February 14, 2013, a federal judge sentenced Crundwell to 19 years 7 months in federal prison. Crundwell was to serve 85% of this sentence. According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website, Crundwell was due to be released on October 20, 2029.
The former Dixon comptroller was convicted of stealing nearly $54 million from the city over her two decades in the position. She used the money to fund her horse-breeding operation and lavish lifestyle.
According to an update on the City of Dixon’s Facebook page, City Manager Danny Langloss contacted the Federal Correctional Institution in Pekin and confirmed that Rita Crundwell had been released. The update says the prison official who provided this information did not know the reason for Crundwell’s early release.
On April 22, 2020, Rita Crundwell petitioned a federal judge for early release based on her “deteriorating health condition” and the COVID-19 pandemic. On May 10, 2020, on behalf of the Dixon City Council, City Manager Danny Langloss issued a letter to the Pekin Correctional Institution Warden strongly opposing early release of Crundwell. Crundwell ultimately withdrew her request for release at that time.
Mayor Liandro Arellano expressed his frustration that the City of Dixon received no official notification. “It is incredibly frustrating that Dixon was given no victim notification of Rita Crundwell’s release. Dixonites are still dealing with the social and financial aftermath of the damage she did, and our community deserved notice of and reasoning for this decision.”
The City of Dixon will release more information as it becomes available.