DIXON – Most Dixon residents who were randomly interviewed Thursday were in agreement: Rita Crundwell got what she deserved.
But many also had a question: How could city officials not have known that she was stealing millions of dollars?
On Thursday, Crundwell, 60, the city’s former comptroller, got a prison sentence of 19 years, 7 months, just short of the 20-year maximum for her crime. A tearful Crundwell told the judge she was truly sorry.
“I’m glad she got nearly the maximum,” Steven Moeller, 57, said as he was returning to his car at Country Market grocery store. “Now, they can arrest all of the rest who were involved. You can’t do this for 20 years without being noticed.”
Another shopper, Josh Springer, 30, also agreed with Crundwell’s sentence.
“She got what she deserved,” he said. “She stole from the community for God knows how long, and we won’t get most of that back.”
He said he thinks others were involved in the crime and didn’t take action to stop it.
Cathy Bolzinger, 70, said the sentence seemed fair.
“Because of her age, it’s almost like a life sentence,” she said. “I don’t know what this will do for the people of Dixon.”
Shoppers Tim Taylor, 30, and Julie Parker, 29, said the people of Dixon lose out ultimately.
“She feels bad because she was caught,” Parker said.
“If she was sorry, she wouldn’t have done it in the first place,” he said.
He said it was another example of officials feeling that they had power over the people.
Charles Lambert, 49, who was walking on First Street, said Crundwell deserved a long sentence.
As for city leaders, he said, “They have definitely made some mistakes in the past.”
Lane Wilcox, 61, owner of downtown’s Alley Loop Saloon, said the bottom line was that Crundwell “screwed up.”
“Shame on the city and accountants for allowing her to get away with it,” he said while tending bar.
He said Crundwell had been an occasional customer, dropping by after City Council meetings.
“As a person, she was nice,” he said. “She could afford to be nice.”