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Fox Lake Police Lt. Joseph Gliniewicz was subject of sexual harassment lawsuit

Former police officer left Explorers in July 2000, resigned from department in August 2001

Fox Lake police Lt. Joe Gliniewicz
Fox Lake police Lt. Joe Gliniewicz

In the wake of Wednesday's explosive news conference, it was discovered Fox Lake Police Lt. Joseph Gliniewicz also was the subject of a sexual harassment lawsuit more than a decade earlier.

In the civil lawsuit filed in federal court in 2003, a former Fox Lake police officer claimed Gliniewicz used his position of authority to get sexual favors from her. Gliniewicz, a sergeant at the time and the woman’s supervisor, said he would protect her from another ranking officer who disliked women, the lawsuit stated.

Gliniewicz allegedly told her the sex acts were required to keep her job.

A federal judge eventually tossed the lawsuit because the woman and her attorney repeatedly missed filing deadlines and failed to appear for scheduled court dates. Gliniewicz was suspended for 30 days, and was ordered not to have contact with the woman and to attend counseling for sex addiction, court documents reveal.

The woman also worked for the Fox Lake Police Explorer Post 300, a youth program authorities said Gliniewicz siphoned thousands of dollars from for years as its supervisor before staging his suicide as a crime scene Sept. 1.

In the detailed federal filing, the woman said she performed oral sex on her supervisor five times, although she “made it clear to Gliniewicz that she did not wish to do this but this did not dissuade Gliniewicz.”

On Valentine’s Day in 2000, Gliniewicz called the woman to meet at a hotel, where he gave her a uniform he bought for the woman’s son. He gave her a box of chocolate and “pressured” the woman to perform oral sex on him.

At a scheduled camp for the explorers, Gliniewicz told her “how much fun [they] would have after the kids went to bed.”

The woman left the explorers in July 2000, and she resigned from the police department in August 2001. She sued the Fox Lake Police Department because she said she was unfairly disciplined after alleging sexual harassment.

The woman’s exact role in the department or with the explorers is unclear, and a Fox Lake police spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for clarification.

The woman said she came forward after taking a course on sexual harassment, and at the encouragement of retired Police Chief Michael Behan, who then was a sergeant.

Authorities said Wednesday that Gliniewicz’s Sept. 1 death was not a homicide, but a “cleverly staged” suicide he put together when he realized authorities were closing in on his embezzlement scheme.

Authorities said he stole thousands from the explorers program for at least seven years, using the money for personal expenses such as personal loans, gym memberships, travel and visits to adult websites.

• Reporter Katie Dahlstrom contributed to this report.

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