What happened to due process in Dixon?
Former Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell has been accused of stealing from the city of Dixon but hasn’t had her day in court, yet the federal government is auctioning off horses and attempting to sell other property without due process?
The Rockford Register Star articles still use the terms “alleged and allegations” when referring to the $53M stolen over a 20 year period and the items allegedly purchased with said money.
Agents have executed search-and-seizure warrants at various locations, including Crundwell’s home, office, and farms in Dixon and Beloit, Wis. They seized the contents of two bank accounts she controlled. Among other items seized were seven trucks and trailers, three pickup trucks, a $2.1 million motor home and a Ford Thunderbird convertible, all of which were allegedly purchased with illegal proceeds.
It’s understandable that assets were seized and the comptroller was instructed not to sell any of the items in question, but now the government is selling them before a verdict has been reached by a jury of her peers in the criminal case!
Magistrate Judge P. Michael Mahoney’s ruled proceeds from the sale of the property will be used to pay for the horses’ upkeep since Crundwell’s April 17 arrest. Other parties, including those with liens on the horses, are filing claims with the court to recover their funds as well.
Civil forfeiture in connection with the criminal case was the reason given that the alleged stolen property was confiscated and ordered to be sold. However, Ms Crundwell hasn’t been found guilty in criminal court at this time.
Whatever happened to the presumption of innocence in this case?