To the Editor:

I have lived in the Dixon area for over 30 years and am aware of the pain and embarrassment the Crundwell affair caused.

Mention Dixon to a nonresident and the typical response might be: “Oh, yes, the town that was scammed by one of its own.”

Rita Crundwell has now filed a request for early release per the Bureau of Prisons Administrative Remedy Program. Her request has opened some old wounds. Perhaps we need to step back and consider the following:

1. While she has served less than one-half of her prison sentence, the concerns noted in her request for an early release seem reasonable.

2. I do not believe she poses a threat to anyone’s well-being. The crime of which she was found guilty and for which she was sentenced to prison did not involve bodily harm to anyone.

3. The city of Dixon recovered, through a variety of means, much of the money she embezzled over a period of 20 years.

4. The reported high incidence of coronavirus/COVID-19 among those incarcerated in our state and federal correctional facilities has led to significant changes by the Bureau of Prisons regarding the process for requesting an early release.

With these thoughts in mind, perhaps this is an opportunity for Dixon’s image and self-identity to be changed for the better.

Instead of appearing to be vindictive, show some grace, mercy, and forgiveness. It would go a long way toward healing the pain this sad affair caused. And restored pride would go a long way toward overcoming the embarrassment many still feel.

I believe Rita Crundwell’s request for an early release should be granted.

Roger V. Asplund


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