Dixon mayor responds to arrest of city's comptroller

By WEEK Producer

April 18, 2012 Updated Apr 18, 2012 at 10:34 PM CDT

DIXON, Ill -- The mayor of Dixon, Illinois says it made him sick to his stomach to find out how much city money Rita Crundwell allegedly embezzled.

Mayor James Burke faced reporters and Dixon residents today. That after word that city comptroller Rita Crundwell was accused of taking more than $30 million since 2006. Crundwell is well-known in the Dixon area for breeding and showing world champion horses. The FBI says she financed that hobby with millions of dollars embezzled from Dixon taxpayers.

Mayor Burke said, "You expect that she's going to do everything really well and that she's going to improve the city. I've always thought very highly of Rita and again, that's why this is so shocking."

As word of Rita Crundwell's arrest spread, Dixon residents drove to her horse farm, where they could watch FBI agents seizing Crundwell's property..including a $260,000 horse trailer. She had also bought a $2 million motorhome and had paid millions in credit card bills.

Crundwell was released from custody on bail, but ordered not to sell horses or property or apply for a passport.

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