Gliniewicz committed suicide to avoid facing criminal probe, officials say

By Jason Arndt

Staff Writer

On the surface, Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz was a military veteran, family man and well-respected officer with the Fox Lake Police Department.

However, according to investigators, he was a thief and an embarrassment to the law enforcement community who committed suicide to avoid answering for his actions.

Lt. Joseph Gliniewicz

Lt. Joseph Gliniewicz

In addition to the claims of embezzlement revealed Wednesday, the Associated Press reported Thursday that Gliniewicz attempted to arrange for the killing of the new village administrator whom he feared would discover his illegal actions.

The AP report, quoting an official with he Lake County Sheriff’s Department, also said Gliniewicz in recovered text messages mentioned the possibility of “planting” incriminating evidence on Administrator Anne Marrin.

The report said packets of cocaine were found in Gliniewicz’s desk, but it was not know if that’s why he had the drug.

Gliniewicz’s transformation from respected 30-year police veteran known as G.I. Joe to criminal was revealed in an announcement made by Commander George Filenko of Lake County Major Crimes Task Force at a press conference held in Round Lake Beach Wednesday.

Gliniewicz – who died on duty Sept. 1 of what investigators say was a self-inflicted gunshot at a staged crime scene – was under scrutiny from Marrin and other village officials concerning his actions involving a local police Explorer Post.

Investigators said they believe Gliniewicz became anxious about internal audits, and having seven years of misconduct exposed.

“Eventually, it would have been discovered,” Filenko told reporters at the news conference. “Because regardless of the fact that Lt. Gliniewicz staged the suicide, the Village of Fox Lake begun conducting a thorough internal audit of all their assets.”

The audits and proceeding investigation following his death had stunning results on the reputation of an officer who was also a leader of a police Explorer Post – a youth mentorship program geared towards promoting careers in law enforcement.

As a leader of the Explorer Post, Gliniewicz had financial oversight for at least seven years, and through the investigation, authorities contend the officer siphoned a five-figure amount from the program.

According internal and federal audits on financial institutions, investigators concluded that Gliniewicz spent the embezzled money on personal travel, mortgage payments, a gym membership, and adult websites, among other items.

“There are no winners here,” Filenko said. “Gliniewicz committed the ultimate betrayal to the citizens he served and the entire law enforcement community.”

The Associated Press also reported Thursday that Gliniewicz’s wife, Melodie, and son, D.J., are caught up in the continuing probe of the Explorer Post funds.

The community rallied around Gliniewicz’s family in the wake of his death and hundreds of law enforcement officials attended his funeral, praising him as a hero.

For the full story see next week’s editions of the Illinois Hi-Liter and Westosha Report.


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