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Dateline Dixon: ‘American Greed’ to feature Crundwell

Riverfront Commission may seek city help for boat docks

Former Comptroller Rita Crundwell’s theft of nearly $54 million will again be on display to a nationwide audience.

CNBC will air an episode of “American Greed” that features Crundwell on April 2. The episode’s title is, “The Cunning Cowgirl Crook.”

Crundwell stole nearly $54 million from the city during 2 decades before she was arrested at City Hall in April 2012. She’s serving a sentence of 19 years, 7 months in a federal prison in Waseca, Minn.

The city has received about $39.4 million from a settlement with its former auditors and a bank and the sale of Crundwell’s assets.

Crundwell will share the episode with Joe Mazella, who stole about $14 million in a real estate development scam, according to CNBC’s website.

Video from the auction of Crundwell’s horses in 2012 is included in a new 15-minute recruitment video for the U.S. Marshal’s Service.

Gauging interest in boat docks

The Riverfront Commission might approach the city during its coming strategic planning about helping to fund, in some way, its boat dock project.

The strategic planning, for how to spend the remaining money from the settlement and sale of Crundwell’s assets, is expected to begin after the city’s 2014-15 fiscal year budget has been finalized.

The commission’s boat dock subcommittee meet on March 22 to discuss funding for the estimated $174,000 project, said Larry Reed, the commission’s chairman.

The Riverfront Commission had tried to get some funding, for a kayak or canoe launch, through a grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, but was unsuccessful.

It was the same grant program, Reed said, that awarded the Dixon Park District $18,375 for a boat ramp extension in Page Park.

The subcommittee wants to gauge public interest for the boat docks, which could be installed along the south side of the Rock River near downtown Dixon, Reed said, adding that a fundraising committee could be formed.

The Riverfront Committee recently received interest from two additional boat dock companies, Reed said, and will start to research the companies and their proposals.

Sauk Valley Media reporter Matt Mencarini covers government and happenings in Dixon.
He can be reached at or at 815-625-3600, ext. 529. Follow him on twitter: @MattMencarini.

SVM reporter at Books on First today

Sauk Valley Media reporter Matt Mencarini will have "office hours" from 1 to 2 p.m. today at Books on First, 202 W. First St.

Feel free to stop by and let him know what's on your mind. Is there a story in Dixon you think should be reported? Stop by to share or just to say hi.

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