More Rita Crundwell questions

Q: Who is the relative prosecutors say picked up the mail when Crundwell was on vacation? Why did the mayor and the commissioners allow that? Will this relative be arrested?

A: We haven’t been able to get confirmed who was picking up the mail.

Until this fall, when Kathe Swanson came to Mayor Jim Burke with the bank statement they said neither of them knew about, Burke said he didn’t know a relative was getting the mail.

The other commissioners I spoke to also said they were unaware of the practice. Commissioner Jeff Kuhn said that would have been a huge red flag had they known, but as part-time commissioners, they don’t deal with day-to-day things such as the mail.

The FBI will not comment on whether anyone else is being investigated or whether additional arrests are pending.

Q: The Dixon Municipal Band had its budget cut in half this past fall. Will any money recovered go toward restoring that program?

A: There’s no one place the money could or must go. If revenue figures end up being different than otherwise thought, those additional dollars would go through the same budgeting process that the city goes through each year.

But until the mayor and the commissioners know what kind of money we’re actually talking about, they said they don’t want to get into that.

If you would like to see the funds go toward the band, or toward anything else, you can always write a letter to the editor (you can find guidelines here: saukvalley.com/forms/letters/) or speak during a public comment period at the beginning of Dixon City Council meetings. Call Kathe Swanson at City Hall, 815-288-1485, for details.

Q: Is Dixon going to get a city manager?

A: In a letter to the council sent out Friday, the mayor proposed establishing a seven-member panel to discuss changes to Dixon’s government.

That would include deciding whether to hire a city manager as well as looking at the commission form of government. It will take a council vote to establish the citizen panel.

So, although the mayor himself is not advocating a particular form of government at this time, he is pursuing that line of thinking.

Q: What’s with the board with nails that was buried in the circular drive off Red Brick Road just past the buildings at Crundwell’s ranch?

A: From conversations with law enforcement officials, there appears to be nothing wrong with a security device like the one described by readers as long as its on private property.

But when I asked the U.S. Marshals Service, which is overseeing the horse ranch, about the board, I was told they were unaware of it and would look into it.

The board has since been removed, a marshals spokeswoman said, and an alternative security measure had been taken to prevent access to the ranch.

Q: Why are people who aren’t associated with Occupy Dixon showing up as members of the group on Facebook?

A: In 2010, Facebook changed the way they do groups. This change means that anyone who is invited to a group is automatically added as a member.

We’ve heard from a lot of people who are upset that they’ve been added to Facebook groups without their consent. If you are one of them, you can remove yourself by hovering over the group’s name in the left-hand column. A little icon that looks like a pencil will appear. Click that and choose Leave Group. You no longer will appear as a member in that group.

Dixon to delay investigating former comptroller

DIXON, Ill. (AP) – Officials in the northern Illinois city of Dixon are holding off on investigating a former financial officer accused of stealing more than $53 million in public money.

Dixon Mayor Jim Burke tells WHBF-TV the city is waiting until the FBI finishes its investigation of former comptroller Rita Crundwell.

Prosecutors say she used the money to fund 1 of the nation’s leading horse breeding operations and feed a lavish lifestyle that kept her outfitted with cars and jewelry.

She has pleaded not guilty to a single count of wire fraud.

Dixon’s mayor says an investigation now would cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars, on top of the millions Crundwell is accused of stealing.