Illinois officer spent embezzled money on coffee, movies
FOX LAKE, Ill. (AP) — A northern Illinois police officer who authorities say killed himself after years of embezzling from a police-sponsored youth program spent the stolen money on items such as coffee, restaurant meals and trips to the movies, according to court documents.
The records were released Tuesday by attorneys for Melodie Gliniewicz, the widow of late Fox Lake Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz. Authorities say he staged his suicide to look like a homicide because he feared the embezzlement was about to be exposed.
Melodie Gliniewicz’s attorneys argue prosecutors wrongly froze six accounts and two credit cards on Nov. 6 and said in a news release that she can’t pay her mortgage, doctor bills and other family expenses. Attorneys are asking for the freeze to be lifted. An official briefed on the investigation has told the AP that Melodie, and Gliniewicz’s son, D.J., are under investigation.
Attorneys said in the release that Melodie Gliniewicz was asking all to “refrain from rushing to, or misplacing, judgment” and “has faith the truth will come out in time, and if necessary, in court.”
In the court documents that accompanied the news release, prosecutors say bank records show Gliniewicz took thousands of dollars from the Explorer program, spending the funds on coffee, restaurants, going to movies, hormonal supplements and adult entertainment and dating websites.
Authorities also have said he spent nearly $5,700 on a trip to Hawaii and a more than $15,000 on a student loan.
The source of the money in the Explorer account was primarily donations from local businesses, payments for services and checks that prosecutors said appear to be from parents paying to enroll their children in the group.
The affidavit states that of $29,157 that Gliniewicz withdrew from the account, the largest withdrawal was for $7,000, which was deposited into Melodie Gliniewicz’s account. Her attorneys deny any wrongdoing in that transaction. They say deposits into the Explorer account included money from Joe Gliniewicz’s paychecks and a loan from his retirement account totaling $58,800.
Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim said he had no comment on the news release, citing an ongoing criminal investigation.
Gliniewicz’s Sept. 1 shooting death set off a massive manhunt for three men suspected in his killing. But Fox Lake officials announced earlier this month that Gliniewicz staged his suicide to look like he’d been killed in the line of duty because he believed his theft of money from the youth program was about to be exposed.
Associated Press reporter Don Babwin contributed to this report.