ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) — Former Dixon comptroller Rita Crundwell made a tearful public apology at her sentencing.
Crundwell was sentenced to nearly 20 years in prison Thursday after she admitted to stealing almost $54 million from the small northern Illinois city. She hasn't spoken publicly before.
She sobbed in court on Thursday, telling the judge she was "truly sorry." She apologized to the city, her friends and her family.
Prosecutors say she used the millions to pay for a lavish lifestyle and horse-breeding operation. The judge told her she cared more for her horses than she did for the citizens of Dixon.
The judge says the sentence means the 60-year-old Crundwell likely will serve until she is 77.
She also was ordered to pay $53.7 million in restitution before being taken into immediate custody.