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Dateline Dixon: Public ready for verdict

DIXON – How will you hear the news?

Former Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell will be sentenced for stealing nearly $54 million from city funds sometime after 9 a.m. Thursday.

With our need for instant gratification in this information world, people expect the news minutes, even seconds after it happens.

I cannot tell you how many times conversations in Dixon shift to the Crundwell case, leading to the inevitable question: “How many years do you think she’ll get?”

Many residents will be hanging on the information, looking for closure, yet where will they hear about it?

Tomorrow’s sentencing will not be broadcast live on any medium. Cameras, cellphones and laptops are not allowed in the federal courtroom in Rockford during criminal proceedings.

The public followed the O.J. Simpson trial, broadcast in its entirety from a California state court. I remember taking time out of sixth-grade multiplication lessons to watch the highly anticipated verdict.

Despite all the anticipation around town leading up to Thursday’s news, most people told me they aren’t sure how they will find out. Some said they plan to log onto Facebook, where someone will post it before too long. Others said word of mouth will spread.

Since the city of Dixon is not going to ring church bells, one chime for each year of prison Crundwell receives, Sauk Valley Media will release the sentence as soon as it’s announced on Twitter and Facebook. We’ll post a story on shortly after that.

It’s been April since Crundwell was arrested, and Dixon residents have been waiting 10 months for tomorrow’s news. I think that’s long enough.


Prosecutors: Crundwell's thefts started from Sister Cities fund in 1988

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