State

Crundwell documentary returns to Dixon

Former Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell
Former Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell

DIXON – The documentary detailing Rita Crundwell’s $53.7 million embezzlement scheme is coming back to Dixon, and it’s open to the public.

“All the Queen’s Horses,” a 71-minute film about Dixon’s former comptroller, whose theft spanning two decades has been called the largest municipal fraud in U.S. history, will be shown Oct. 28 and 29 at the Historic Dixon Theatre.

The documentary came to Crundwell’s former estate for a private screening Sept. 24 with about 50 people in attendance, including former City Clerk Kathe Swanson, the whistleblower who uncovered the secret account Crundwell used to funnel millions into her private coffers and quarterhorse breeding empire.

Director Kelly Richmond Pope, an accounting professor at DePaul University, said Thursday that the documentary team is excited to return to Dixon. Several at the private showing asked whether they would come back for a public event.

The theater board originally didn’t want to show the film, saying “we feel enough damage was done to our city by her actions,” but that it might reconsider if asked by the city, according to a Facebook response the theater gave to a resident asking whether it would show the film.

Production company Cue Theatricals Inc., which brought a lineup of nationally touring shows to the theater that kicked off earlier this month, reached out to theater leadership in September to work out a screening.

Workiva, an Iowa-based software company focused on financial reporting and auditing, is sponsoring the free screening.

The first showing will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 28, followed by a Q&A session, Pope said. The time of the Oct. 29 showing was not available Thursday, but it likely will be a matinee.

The documentary features interviews with forensic accountants, equestrians, attorneys, government officials and local residents.

It was developed through the Diverse Voices and Docs fellowship program with Chicago-based Kartemquin Films, and it debuted at the Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival on Aug. 8, where it won the HBO Documentary Films Spotlight Award.

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