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Dixon City Hall completes accounts payroll conversion

Officials expecting $8.5 million to $9.5 million in Crundwell money after Feb. 14 sentencing

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013 1:36 p.m. CDT

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DIXON – The city’s payroll now is completed in-house.

Payroll and accounts receivable conversion efforts are near completion, after being outsourced to CliftonLarsonAllen, Finance Commissioner David Blackburn announced at Monday’s City Council meeting.

City Hall staff recently generated the first set of payroll checks internally and the first accounts payable set of checks using new software. All payments are being handled in the downstairs office at City Hall.

“This was one of the primary objectives outlined last summer in an effort to improve internal controls” as a result of former comptroller Rita Crundwell’s theft of more than $53 million from city accounts, he said.

Other tasks to be handled outside the city will take place in the next couple of weeks to complete the conversion, Blackburn said.

Also, the sale of Crundwell’s former properties could be completed by her Feb. 14 federal sentencing date, Mayor Jim Burke told the City Council. Once completed, the new owners names will become public.

Shortly after that date, the city is expected to receive between $8.5 million and $9.5 million from the U.S. Marshals Service, according to estimates from the city’s auditor Rory Sohn of Wipfli, who presented an update on the city’s audit.

On Jan. 2, U.S. Marshals entered into contracts with buyers who would pay more than $3 million for properties at 1403 Dutch Road, 1556 Red Brick Road and about 81 acres of farmland, all titled to the former Dixon comptroller who pleaded guilty to federal wire fraud in November.

No agreements have been made for her Florida property and one at 1679 U.S. Highway 52.

Wipfli was hired when previous auditor Samuel S. Card, CPA, P.C., and Janis Card Co. LLC of Sterling was let go shortly after the former comptroller was arrested. The city is suing the former auditor.

Sohn said the audit is 95 percent complete, but cannot be finished until those assets are received. Sohn also has to chart the money Crundwell stole from city accounts and he awaits more information from the FBI to do so. Most of the information on what she took was compiled from the initial FBI complaint of criminal charges, he said.

Also Monday, the council authorized City Hall heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment to go out for proposals and OK’d the execution of an insurance minimum/maximum contribution agreement, although those figures were not available.

Ray Neisewander III, Joseph Welty, Donna Hoyle and Tom Suits’ appointments to the hospital board were confirmed.

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