-By Zachary S. Oltmanns
Almost 22 years ago, I was born in the same hometown as Ronald Reagan, Dixon, IL. Tuesday, that title became a little less proud. That was the day long time Comptroller Rita Crundwell was arrested by FBI agents for allegedly stealing over $30 million over the past six years. I was shocked and appalled by the news that someone was able to steal that kind of money and not be caught sooner. Thirty million dollars is a lot of money to any community, especially one with only 15,000 citizens. This alleged fraud was the equivalent to a combined $1,900 per taxpayer over the last six years
People want to know how this could have happened. A couple of thoughts have came to my mind. One problem I see is the lack of turnover in Dixon politicans. Mayor Jim Burke, a donor to Democrats such as Dick Durbin and Bill Foster, has been in office since 1999 and has been questioned about his own corruption in the past. Mayor Burke is also the owner of Burke Realty. In 2010 Henry Pratt Company had an old factory structure for sale for $600,000. However, Burke Realty was able to buy the Henry Pratt Company building for $27,000. Convenient, isn’t it? There have been other instances of the city and Burke Realty holding hands in business…
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