Former Dixon comptroller Rita Crundwell faces up to 20 years in prison when she is sentenced Feb. 14.
Crundwell changed her plea to guilty Wednesday in a federal case accusing her of stealing $53 million from the small northern Illinois city. Prosecutors say she used the money to fund a lavish lifestyle and horse-breeding operation.
Mandatory restitution of the entire $53 million is part of Crundwell's plea agreement. She also could be fined up to $250,000.
Federal officials say they are selling Crundwell's assets but don't think they will raise the entire $53 million.
Crundwell will remain free pending sentencing.
Dixon Mayor James Burke says residents are happy with Crundwell's plea and that nobody in the town feels sorry for her. He says Crundwell deserves a long prison sentence.