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Lawyer: No more appeals for ex-Dixon comptroller

Published: Sunday, April 20, 2014 10:55 p.m. CDT

CHICAGO – A former comptroller who stole almost $54 million from a northern Illinois community has decided she won’t further attempt to have her nearly 20-year prison sentence reduced.

Citing Rita Crundwell’s lawyer, Sauk Valley Media reported Saturday that the imprisoned former Dixon bookkeeper has decided not to pursue other appeals options.

Last year, defense attorney Paul Gaziano asked the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to find that a lower court judge abused his discretion by giving Crundwell more time than federal guidelines recommended.

But a three-judge panel rejected that argument in a November ruling. The options still available to Crundwell would include asking for a rehearing by all 7th Circuit judges or taking the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Crundwell pleaded guilty to wire fraud for embezzling money from Dixon from 1991 until her arrest in 2012.

Her thievery ranks as one of the worst abuses in Illinois’ corruption-rich history. While the city struggled to pay its bills, she used the money to live lavishly and to build a nationally renowned horse-breeding operation.

Crundwell, 61, is currently in a Waseca, Minn., federal prison. She must serve at least 85 percent of her 19-year, 7-month sentence.

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