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Progress made in Crundwell case

ROCKFORD – Ousted Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell's criminal case may be headed into the final stages. 

During a short hearing Wednesday, Crundwell's attorneys and Assistant U.S. Attorney Joe Pedersen agreed to send the case to Federal Judge Philip Reinhard.

The case has been in front of Magistrate P. Michael Mahoney since Crundwell's arrest April 17 at City Hall. A federal grand jury later indicted her on a single charge of federal wire fraud. 

Magistrate judges typically handle most pretrial matters, including arraignments and setting bond conditions, according to a U.S. courts website.

Crundwell will appear before Reinhard at 9 a.m. Nov. 14. The defense has until then to file pretrial motions.

Prosecutors say the 59-year-old Dixon woman misappropriated more than $53 million in city funds since 1990.

Crundwell told federal agents that she used some of the money to fund her horse operations, according to the indictment. 

She also had been indicted on 60 counts of theft in Lee County. She has not yet appeared in court on those charges.

Public Defender Paul Gaziano told Mahoney on Wednesday that the defense had received 17,000 pages of documents from prosecutors, including 2,000 pages in the past couple of weeks.

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