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Crime & Courts

Widow of disgraced Fox Lake police officer set for July 1 trial

A trial date has been set for the wife of a Fox Lake police lieutenant who killed himself and made it look like his death was duty related.

Lake County Judge James Booras on Wednesday set a trial date of July 1 for Melodie Gliniewicz. Gliniewicz was charged with unlawful use of charitable funds, conspiracy and money laundering after her husband’s 2015 suicide.

The 53-year-old widow of Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph “Joe” Gliniewicz is accused of helping her husband misuse thousands of dollars of a youth program’s funds before he staged his own death.

Joseph Gliniewicz was found shot to death Sept. 1, 2015, in Fox Lake. Investigators originally believed the veteran was killed in the line of duty, but it later was revealed that he killed himself and made it appear as if he had been murdered.

The couple had used money donated to the Fox Lake Police Explorer Post 300 program for their own purposes, investigators said. Prosecutors allege that Joseph Gliniewicz spent $2,455 at Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts; $8,822 at restaurants; $2,515 at the Fox Lake Theatre; $7,217 on health clubs, athletic event registration and hormonal supplements; and $2,623 on adult entertainment and dating websites.

Melodie Gliniewicz has pleaded not guilty. Her attorney, Donald Morrison, previously sought to bar prosecutors from presenting any communication between the couple at trial.

In May 2017, Booras ruled the text messages and emails were privileged, and the case was put on hold as prosecutors fought the decision in the Illinois Appellate Court.

Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Ken LaRue came back in May, however, and argued new evidence proved Melodie Gliniewicz allowed the FBI to search her phone in 2015. The newly obtained signed waiver overrode any marital protections, he said.

Booras refused to go back on his previous ruling, however, and sent the matter back to the appellate court.

In a 21-page decision issued in November, Appellate Justice Joe Birkett wrote that Booras was wrong to not reopen the hearing after learning about the signed FBI waiver.

Melodie Gliniewicz still could receive her husband’s survivor pension, and is actively trying to do so. The Fox Lake Police Pension Board was set to discuss the matter Monday; however, the board’s attorney, Fred Loffredo, could not be reached for comment.

• The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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