DIXON (WIFR) – After a major scandal and a loss of nearly $54 million dollars of taxpayer money, the city of Dixon will finally get a big chunk of that money back. The city has settled a lawsuit surrounding Rita Crundwell, the former comptroller who’s serving nearly 20 years in prison for stealing that money.
The last year and a half has been a nightmare for Dixon. The Rita Crundwell scandal put the tiny city on an international map, but finally, a step forward. Dixon will be getting $40 million dollars from this settlement.
About half a dozen people or firms were named in the suit, but this is the final payout. The city’s former auditor CliftonLarsonAllen will pay more than $36 million dollars for not catching the theft. Fifth Third Bank will pay nearly $3 million for not properly handling the secret bank account Crundwell used to transfer money for her personal use and Sam Card's accounting firm will pay $1 million.
The settlement was tentatively agreed upon Saturday, after a 17-hour meeting and the city council approved it this morning.
“We’re absolutely elated about this and putting this thing behind us, frankly,” said Dixon Mayor Jim Burke.
The city is expected to get the money by the end of the year. It will also get about $10 million in restitution from the feds, after selling all of Crundwell’s belongings, however there’s no word on when they’ll receive that money.
About $10 million of that $50 million will go to attorneys fees, so the city will end up with about $40 million altogether. Some tell us they’re glad this whole ordeal is coming to an end.
“I’m hoping that we’ll be able to utilize this money now to make a lot of improvements or get caught up on some of our shortages and some of our funding,” said Carol Chandler, a Dixon resident.
“Well I have to say that I’m surprised the city is getting that much. It’s more than I expected the city would get and I think it’s the best news we’ve heard financially in Dixon for awhile,” said resident, Larry Dunphy.
The city’s finance director will schedule a public meeting in early October to talk about how this money will be used. One possibility is to retire some of the city’s debts and start work on projects that had to be postponed due to lack of funding.
DIXON (WIFR) – The city of Dixon has reached a settlement in a lawsuit against its former auditors and Fifth Third Bank.
The settlement is for $40 million dollars. The lawsuit came after Rita Crundwell, the city’s former comptroller, was arrested for stealing nearly $54 million dollars of taxpayer money. The city says auditors should’ve caught the theft and that Fifth Third Bank should have caught the secret bank account that Crundwell used to transfer money into for her personal use.
We’ll have more on this story tonight on the 23 News at 5.