Numerous financial safeguards broke down or simply didn't exist in Dixon, experts say, allowing Rita Crundwell, the city's longtime treasurer and comptroller, to allegedly pilfer an astonishing $30 million from the coffers of the small northwestern Illinois town over the last six years...Michael Pagano, dean of the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said the commission form of government dates to more than a century ago and was meant as a reform measure, making each council member responsible for a particular city function. Only about 50 of the state's approximately 1,300 municipalities still use that form of government, according to a 2006 state report. The drawback, Pagano said, is that professionals aren't necessarily overseeing critical city functions. Diverting money would be more difficult in a professionally managed city government, he said.
And you thought your HOA was bad. The little city of Dixon, IL, is home to a $30 million dollar embezzlement case. Mike Pagano, my UIC colleague, is right. The commission form of government is a strange system.