Weathering the storm of $53 million in missing funds and a federal indictment against former City Comptroller Rita Crundwell, the city of Dixon has decided there will be no internal investigation for now.
“We would not be doing one at this time because I had a meeting with the FBI and the attorneys,” Mayor James Burke says, “Their investigation is not complete so we figured in view of all that, let those things play out, and then at that point we can make a determination whether or not we need to do an internal investigation.”
Since the case broke just over a month ago, Dixon’s mayor and city council have stated over and over again they would be conducting their own internal investigation. The mayor tells KWQC today while they won’t be conducting an investigation now, there are other steps they’re taking to move forward.
“The announcement Monday night was to hire a litigation firm,” Mayor Burke says, “They are going to investigate potential fraud malpractice and other issues involved in litigation.”
The firm will gather information to file a civil suit against Crundwell and any others they find evidence against. The city also has a firm doing a forensic audit to re-audit all records since 1990.
The mayor still believes no one else in city hall was involved, even though he says Crundwell managed to slip through the cracks.
“Everybody liked her,” Burke says, “My thoughts about what she’s done now, it’s hard to square with the person I thought she was.”
Mayor Burke says even though funds are missing, they did do improvements on a new $7million public safety building, a $6.5 million walkway and riverfront area, and $18 million of improvements on the wastewater treatment plant.
However they did make cuts, too. For three years, city employees did not get a raise. The municipal band budget was cut in half and the main street program lost a thousand dollars.
KWQC talked to the Main Street director today, he said they made it work through donations.
The mayor says if the city gets any money back, he’d like to use it to lower fees and expenses for residents.