See Excerpts Below of LT Charles Joseph Gliniewicz Cowardly Behavior
Nobody wants to see anyone end their life in the manner that LT Charles Joseph Gliniewicz did. LT Gliniewicz dishonored his police family in the worst way. He cheated the community out of their right to justice. He cheated the youth in the community out of money that was rightly theirs, he used money that didn't belong to him, equipment that did not belong to him, gas that did not belong to him, went on holiday in his official vehicle, and much more. HELLO!
I do not under any circumstances want any person to take such a drastic measure as LT Gliniewicz did when he took the cowards way out.
Some of the most serious accusations are detailed in a stunning letter that members of the Fox Lake Police Department anonymously sent to then-Mayor Cindy Irwin in February 2009. The letter outlines almost two pages of complaints about the lieutenant, who they said had sent "morale within the department [to] an all-time low."
The letter goes on to accuse Gliniewicz of having:
- Used his squad car for personal errands — including once having driven his family to Wisconsin on vacation.
- Allowed civilians to fill their cars at the police gas station.
The anonymous police employees said Gliniewicz's behavior had "destroyed morale within the department and affected everyone's attitude." Gliniewicz's personnel file doesn't indicate whether any action was taken on his colleagues' letter.
Thursday, Fox Lake Mayor Donny Schmidt asked the community to wait for the results of the full investigation before jumping to conclusions. But he said it was clear that "the person that I thought I knew for 30 years had another side I wasn't aware of."
An Illinois police officer whose mysterious death in September spurred a massive manhunt killed himself because he feared it was about to be discovered that he had been embezzling thousands of dollars from his police department, authorities said Wednesday.
George Filenko, commander of the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force, told reporters that investigators concluded Gliniewicz's death was a "carefully staged suicide" by an officer who was on the cusp of being discovered for stealing from the village.
Filenko said an investigation revealed Gliniewicz had stolen thousands of dollars from the police department's youth Explorers post over seven years, which he spent on mortgage payments, travel, handing out personal loans, a gym membership and adult websites.
The program, which many departments across the country operate, teach young people about law enforcement work. Gliniewicz oversaw Fox Lake's program.
The commander added that an investigation, which included a review of bank records, text and Facebook messages, indicates criminal activity may have been committed by at least two other individuals. Federal investigators who assisted Lake County officers found that Gliniewicz also deleted thousands of text messages from his phone shortly before his suicide.
Filenko said the village of Fox Lake had begun an audit of the Explorers program prior to Gliniewicz's death. Text messages from Gliniewicz that investigators uncovered during their probe suggested the officer had become concerned the village audit would uncover his malfeasance.
"Gliniewicz committed the ultimate betrayal to the citizens he served and the entire law enforcement community," Filenko said.
Anne Marrin, Fox Lake's village administrator, confirmed she had begun scrutinizing the village's Explorers program prior to Gliniewicz's death.
Police released a series of text and Facebook messages Gliniewicz sent to unidentified individuals, including ones in which he referred to Marrin as a "power monger" and suggested that if she were to review an old checking account he would be in trouble.
"The situation right here would give her the means to CRUCIFY ME if it were discovered," Gliniewicz wrote in a June 26 message.
In another message on the same day to the same person, he wrote, "You are borrowing from that 'other' account, when you get back (you will) have to start dumping money into that account or you will be visiting me in JAIL!!"
Marrin said that she took some of what was in unveiled in the messages as threatening to her. In one exchange about Marrin, Gliniewicz writes he's thought through "MANY SCENARIOS from planting things to the volo bog!!!" The Volo Bog State Natural Area is a secluded marshy area near Fox Lake.
The suicide occurred several days after Fox Lake's former police chief Michael Behanannounced he was retiring from the force. Behan and an unnamed police officer were placed on paid leave earlier in August after the village had launched an investigationinto a December confrontation between the officer and a suspect, according to news reports.
"(Marrin) has now demanded a complete inventory of exploder (Explorer) central and a financial report...(expletive)," Gliniewicz wrote to Behan on Aug. 31, the day before he killed himself.
Christopher Covelli, a Lake County Sheriff's spokesman, told USA TODAY that Behan had left the force prior to the day he received the text message. Behan told investigators that he had suspicions Gliniewicz was using the Explorers account for his personal benefit but did not know for sure.
Gliniewicz intentionally staged the scene around where he died in an attempt to mislead first responders and investigators, according to Filenko.
Investigators said at the time of Gliniewicz's death that he was patrolling in an industrial area in Fox Lake, when he radioed dispatch to say he was going to check on suspicious activity he had spotted.
He described the suspects as two white men and a black man to dispatchers. Gliniewiciz called for backup, saying he was in a foot chase, but was not heard from again.
The investigation found the lieutenant had been committing "extensive criminal acts," including stealing and laundering money from the Fox Lake Police Explorer Post over the past seven years, officials said. Thousands of dollars were used for personal purchases, including adult websites, officials said.
The Police Explorer Post helps youth who are interested in careers in law enforcement. The Fox Lake Law Enforcement Explorer Post 300 website lists Gliniewicz as an advisor.
He was also found to have forged signatures and official documents, officials said.
Authorities determined Gliniewicz intentionally left a staged trail at the crime scene to try to mislead first responders that this was a homicide scene. Gliniewicz had significant experience staging mock crime scenes as a part of his job, officials said.
Gliniewicz was found shot dead in the suburb of Fox Lake, Illinois, Sept. 1, shortly after he radioed that he was chasing three suspects.
The shooting led to an extensive manhunt for the three alleged suspects. The subjects described by the officer were since found and interviewed by authorities who determined they had "rock solid alibies," officials said today.
Gliniewicz's "ongoing criminal activity" was revealed by analysis of his text messages and financial records, officials said.
"The stress in his life began six months ago," officials said today, when, according to Gliniewicz's text messages, he was feeling pressure with new management in the Village of Fox Lake. According to officials, the Village of Fox Lake had begun conducting an internal audit of its assets, which would have eventually led to the discovery of the officer's criminal actions.
Gliniewicz was 52 and nearing retirement after more than 30 years with the police department.
A statement today from the attorneys for the Gliniewicz family said: "Today has been another day of deep sorrow for the Gliniewicz family. The family has cooperated with the Task Force's investigation and will not comment at this time. The Gliniewicz family requests that their privacy be respected as they continue to cope with the loss of the beloved husband and father."