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Kuhn: State's attorney makes right call

Other commissioners mum on decision

Published: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 1:45 p.m. CDT
(Alex T. Paschal/apaschal@saukvalley.com)
Lee County State's Attorney Anna Sacco-Miller leaves the bench after delivering a motion to dismiss charges against Rita Crundwell.

DIXON – A Dixon city commissioner agrees with the decision to drop state charges against Rita Crundwell.

What do the three other commissioners think? Two wouldn't say, and a third couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday.

Commissioner Jeff Kuhn said justice was done in February.

That's when a federal judge sentenced Crundwell, the city's former comptroller, to 19 years, 7 months in prison for wire fraud. The 60-year-old Crundwell admitted to theft of nearly $54 million from the city over two decades. She must serve at least 16 years.

"As far as I'm concerned, justice was served," Kuhn said. "We can't recover any more money anyhow."

He said the city wanted to move on.

"Let's get it over with," Kuhn said. "It's a lot better for the healing process that this is not pursued."

When contacted about the decision to drop the charges, Commissioners Dave Blackburn and Dennis Considine declined to comment. They hung up before a reporter got a chance to ask why.

Commissioner Colleen Brechon didn't return three calls for comment.

Brechon and Considine have commented from time to time on Crundwell-related issues, but Blackburn has maintained a no-comment policy since the scandal broke last year. He said he would limit his comments to City Council meetings.

Last fall, then-State's Attorney Henry Dixon filed the state charges against Crundwell. After the federal court handed down its sentence in February, new State's Attorney Anna Sacco-Miller sought the input of the mayor and commissioners about whether the state should continue with its case.

Mayor Jim Burke and three commissioners wanted prosecutors to proceed.

Kuhn said the charges should move "full steam ahead."

Brechon agreed.

"Given the magnitude of the crime to the city, I'd like to see the evidence pursued," Brechon said.

Considine said he, too, would like to see the charges move forward.

Blackburn, the city's commissioner of finance, said he wasn't qualified to make the decision and chose not to comment.

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