Dixon mayor says comptroller used pension funds to pay city bills

Jun 1, 2012

  Two interim comptrollers hired by the City of Dixon have discovered that fired Comptroller Rita Crundwell transferred money out of the police and fire pension funds to pay city bills Dixon Mayor Jim Burke told sauk valley.com about $100,000 was transferred out of the pension fund, which is not supposed to be touched, and into the general fund from which bills are paid. The money was taken out during the past couple of years and later put back in, Burke said. The discovery was made after members of the pension board brought up concerns following Crundwell’s arrest and subsequent firing, Burke said. “There hasn’t been any indication that there’s anything else wrong,” he said. 

The amount of interest accumulated by the pension funds could have been affected, Burke said, but the numbers Crundwell provided in January probably are accurate. Crundwell reported that the police pension was 84.15 percent funded and the fire pension was 78.44 percent funded as of the last audit.

Crundwell, 59, is charged with one count of federal wire fraud in connection with what prosecutors say was the misappropriation of $53 million in city funds over the past two decades. She pleaded not guilty on May 7 and has a status hearing scheduled for June 15.

Irregularities also were discovered concerning the city’s bonds, according to weekly reports put together by the interim comptrollers, Stan Helgerson and David Richardson. Reports for three weeks have been posted to the city’s website. Reports will be released to the public each week, Burke said.