Ex-Lake County coroner involved in Gliniewicz case accused of perjury

A former Lake County coroner who was a central figure in the case involving disgraced Fox Lake Police Lt. Joseph Gliniewicz was indicted on five counts of perjury Wednesday. 

Thomas Rudd was indicted on the charges after a one-year investigation from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and the Office of Professional Standards, according to a news release from the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office. 

“Each of the five counts alleged that the defendant made knowing false statements on general election petitions for the Democratic primary that was filed in 2015,” said Special Prosecutor Brian Towne of the Illinois Appellate Prosecutor’s Office.

Candidates for elected offices are required to collect a certain number of signatures to appear on the ballot for an election, Towne said. At the bottom of each petition page, the person who is circulating the petitions is required to sign, he said. 

Lake County Undersheriff Ray Rose said that in December 2015, it was questioned whether Rudd’s petitions all were signed by the people who circulated them. As a result, Rudd withdrew from the race for Lake County coroner, rather than go through an election board hearing, Rose said. 

After that, Rose said a number of residents came forward with claims that the petitions were not signed by the right people. 

The investigation is ongoing, Rose said, and it potentially will expand to people beyond Rudd. 

An independent prosecutor took the case instead of the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office to avoid potential conflicts of interest, Rose said. 

Rudd’s charges, all Class 3 felonies, could result in up to five years in prison, Towne said. 

A $150,000 arrest warrant was issued for Rudd, and Rose said his attorney has agreed to surrender him Thursday morning at bond court.

Authorities leading the investigation into the death of Gliniewicz, which was determined to be a suicide, condemned Rudd after he released to the media what they said was sensitive information involving the case. 

Rudd had told the Northwest Herald he was leaning toward homicide as the manner of Gliniewicz’s death, but he said he could not make an official determination until he received more information from investigators.

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