City leaders in Dixon want Rita Crundwell to stay in federal prison.

The city’s former comptroller wants to be released, arguing her health is at risk from the coronavirus.

Crundwell hasn’t served half of her sentence for embezzling more than $50 million from taxpayers.

Dixon city leaders responded in writing calling on the prison system to deny the release.

“The idea that Rita would ever consider showing her face in our great community again is really reprehensible,” says Dixon City Manager Danny Langlass.

Langlass says he is confident that Crundwell will remain behind bars.

“If she were to be let out, it means a lot of things. It would be very damaging and devastating for our community to see someone who stole $53 million be released after only serving seven years,” says Langlass.

In the eight-page handwritten letter from Crundwell, she says, “With my deteriorating health condition, and the danger of the COVID-19 pandemic, I feel like I have been given a death sentence.”

Langlass says, “She needs to serve every day she was sentenced for this crime.”

Back in 2012, before Crundwell was behind bars, city leaders say Dixon was on a downward spiral because of a lack of funding.

Mike Venier, Dixon City Council Member and owner of Venier’s Jewelry in Downtown Dixon, says in 2014, things changed.

“The streetscape project became instrumental in making the downtown the commerce hub of our city, and it also became our playground,” says Venier.

Venier says the last thing the city wants to happen is to be reminded of where they used to be.

“That was known as the city that had to endure the raft of Rita. I think we want to stay away from that, and we want to stay past that,” says Venier.

Langloss says the city was able to recover right around $40 million, as well as improving infrastructure in the city.

There is no word on when the warden could make a decision.