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Attorney asks for more time

Gaziano says he needs month to prepare appeal

DIXON – Rita Crundwell’s attorney has asked for more time to appeal her federal sentence, according to courts documents filed Monday.

U.S. District Court Judge Philip G. Reinhard sentenced the ousted Dixon comptroller to 19 years, 7 months for wire fraud on Feb. 14.

Crundwell’s federal defender, Paul Gaziano, appealed the ruling within 14 days, as required, and now is asking for an additional month to file an appellant brief.

He had been given until April 8 to file the brief; he is asking for a May 8 deadline.

An appellant brief is a document to address what Crundwell is questioning with her sentence or what relief she is seeking from the Chicago-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Gaziano said he has a number of other active cases, taking away from the time he has to work on the appeal. He also said some, but not all, of the applicable transcripts for the case have been ordered.

Prosecutor Joseph Pedersen is OK with the extension, Gaziano said.

“This is [Crundwell’s] first request for an extension of time to file her brief,” he wrote. “This motion is not brought for the purpose of delay, and due diligence and priority will be given to the preparation of this brief.”

An oral argument has yet to be scheduled, he noted.

A motion to dismiss 60 counts of theft of government property in Lee County, filed by Crundwell’s state public defender, will be heard at a hearing April 1.

The indictment accuses her of stealing more than $11 million. Each charge is punishable by 6 to 30 years; if convicted, her sentence would run concurrently with her federal sentence.

Crundwell is in Boone County Jail awaiting assignment to a federal prison.

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