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Lawsuit revised to include local firm

CliftonLarsonAllen wanted to be added to Crundwell case

Published: Monday, Dec. 24, 2012 2:29 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012 5:04 p.m. CDT

DIXON — The city amended a lawsuit Monday filed against two firms officials say failed to detect the theft of millions of dollars by former Comptroller RitaCrundwell.

CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, already a respondent in the case, asked to become a defendant, according to a motion filed Nov. 8 in Lee County, and the city amended its lawsuit to name it right before the Monday deadline issued by Lee County Judge Dan Fish.

The motion did not specify why the firm wanted to be named as a defendant.

The city’s attorney in the case, Devon Bruce of Chicago-based Power Rogers and Smith, could not be reached Monday for comment, nor could attorneys for CliftonLarsonAllen.

The suit claims CliftonLarsonAllen was guilty of breach of contract, fraud and intentional misrepresentation, voluntary undertaking to identify fraud, professional negligence and negligent misrepresentation.

A case management conference is scheduled for Jan. 11.

Bruce filed a lawsuit against the accounting firms that conducted the city audits for the past 5 years, Samuel S. Card, CPA, P.C., and Janis Card Co., LLC, both at 501 E. Fourth St. in Sterling.

The suit claims these companies were guilty of professional negligence and negligent misrepresentation. 

The suit also names Fifth Third Bank and US Bank as respondents in discovery. That means the city wants to be able to request documents and other information so that it can determine if anyone else should be named in the suit.

The city has 6 months to make that determination.

Illinois law states that a respondent in discovery can make a motion to be a defendant in the lawsuit. Once added as a defendant, the firm will have the right to “immediately participate in and conduct discovery” in the suit, the city said in its motion.

Crundwell, 59, of Dixon, pleaded guilty Nov. 14 to federal wire fraud and admitted that she stole nearly $54 million from the city since 1990. She will be sentenced Feb. 14.

SVM reporter Tara Becker contributed to this report.

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