Illinois policeman committed suicide, embezzled funds -officials

In one June 25 message to "Individual #2," Gliniewicz said: "You are borrowing from that 'other' account, when you get back you'll have to start dumping money into that account or you will be visiting me in JAIL!!

Illinois policeman committed suicide, embezzled funds -officials

A northern Illinois policeman said to have committed suicide over an audit he feared would expose his embezzlement had tried to arrange for the killing of an official, investigators said on Thursday.

Fox Lake Police Lieutenant Charles Joseph Gliniewicz sent a text about initiating a hit last April on a village administrator and sought help arranging a meeting with a high-ranking motorcycle gang member, Lake County Sheriff's Detective Christopher Covelli said.

Covelli said investigators also found packets of cocaine in Gliniewicz's desk, and recovered text messages in which he mentioned the possibility of planting something on the administrator.

"It was nothing we could prove," Covelli said. "We can't prove that cocaine in his desk drawer was to plant on her but it was definitely a theory that we looked into."

The widow and a son of Gliniewicz are under criminal investigation, media have reported.

Melodie and D.J. Gliniewicz are being investigated over the embezzlement of funds from the Explorer program that Gliniewicz ran, the Fox TV affiliate in Chicago reported.

Gliniewicz, 52, was found dead on Sept. 1 after reporting that he was investigating three suspicious people. His death prompted a massive manhunt for murder suspects and made national headlines.

Gliniewicz was initially described as a hero and was a decorated, 30-year veteran of the police department in Fox Lake, a quiet town about 60 miles (100 km) north of Chicago and near the Wisconsin border.

On Wednesday, however, authorities said the officer committed "a carefully staged suicide" as officials began an audit that would have exposed his embezzlement of public funds.

Covelli said on Thursday he could not confirm or deny reports of Gliniewicz's wife and son being under investigation because the probe was continuing and could lead to prosecutions.

The investigation of Gliniewicz's death "strongly indicates criminal activity on the part of at least two other individuals," Lake County Major Crime Task Force Commander George Filenko said on Wednesday.

Representatives of the Gliniewicz family did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

Officials on Wednesday released text and Facebook messages from Gliniewicz's cell phone.

In one June 25 message to "Individual #2," Gliniewicz said: "You are borrowing from that 'other' account, when you get back you'll have to start dumping money into that account or you will be visiting me in JAIL!!"

Ballistics testing found two gunshots were fired at close range, Filenko said. Gliniewicz aimed the first shot strategically toward his bulletproof vest and the second under it.

There were no signs that Gliniewicz had fought for his life, and the officer, who was experienced in setting up mock crime scenes, left a staged trail of police equipment to mislead officials into believing there had been a homicide, Filenko said.

Gliniewicz also was previously accused of sexually harassing a fellow police officer, Denise Sharpe, according to a complaint filed in federal court in 2003. The case was dismissed by the circuit court because Sharpe's attorneys failed to follow discovery rules.


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