The widow of disgraced Fox Lake cop Joe Gliniewicz wants authorities to unfreeze her checking account, despite an investigation into whether she profited from the tens of thousands of dollars her husband allegedly embezzled from a youth program.
Joe Gliniewicz had access to more than $100,000 that was donated to the north suburb’s Police Explorers post, and prosecutors allege large chunks of it went to pay student loans, a family trip to Hawaii and day-to-day expenses such as Starbucks coffee and donuts. But lawyers for Gliniewicz’s widow, Melodie, claim bank records also show that Joe Gliniewicz deposited nearly $60,000 of his own money into Explorer accounts.
“Melodie and her counsel were dismayed to discover the existence of the freeze order after Melodie unsuccessfully tried to purchase gas to fill up her car” two days after Lake County investigators announced the results of a months-long probe of Joe Gliniewicz’s death.
The Lake County Major Crimes Task Force found that Gliniewicz committed suicide in an isolated area near Route 12, shooting himself twice in order to stage his death to seem as if he had struggled with unknown attackers.
Text messages Gliniewicz sent in the days before his death suggested he was concerned that an audit by village officials would expose his embezzlement from the Explorers post, and that he had been plotting ways to head off an investigation. A probe targeting Melodie Gliniewicz and one of the couple’s three sons, Donald “D.J.” Gliniewicz, is ongoing.
In a press release Tuesday, Melodie Gliniewicz asked that “the community law enforcement, pension board and the press refrain from rushing to, or misplacing judgment.”
“Melodie has faith that the truth will come out in time, and if necessary, in court,” the press release states.
Melodie Gliniewicz’s attorney, Andrew Kelleher, did not return a call from the Sun-Times Tuesday. The press release includes a copy of a motion to lift a freeze placed on her personal accounts, as well as an affidavit filed by the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office seeking a restraining order on all Gliniewicz’s accounts.
The affidavit spells out suspicious transactions for the accounts from 2008 to 2014, including a $15,000 payout to the U.S. Department of Education for student loans, a $7,000 withdrawal that was apparently used to fund a trip to Hawaii, and hundreds of smaller payments at restaurants, coffee chains, hair salons, health clubs, and for “hormonal supplements” and pornographic websites.
The affidavit states one Explorers account got the bulk of its cash from payments in the form of bi-weekly deposits from “Fox Lake,” that ranged in size from $50 to $450, totaling $43,000.
Melodie Gliniewicz’s lawyers claim the affidavit fails to note that the payments from “Fox Lake” were actually automatic deposits from Joe Gliniewicz’s paycheck. The account also took in a $32,000 deposit from Gliniewicz’s retirement account in 2014, according to the widow’s lawyers.
The affidavit also notes that from August 2013 to 2014, Melodie Gliniewicz made payments into an Explorers account totaling $6,190. The largest of the checks, which posted four months after Joe Gliniewicz withdrew $7,000 from an Explorers account, included the written notation “Hawaii reimburse—pd in full.”