A police officer is dead. By all accounts he was a dedicated professional. How he came to die, we do not know.
Would it be too much to ask that authorities in Lake County honor the officer’s memory by performing with the same dedication and professionalism in solving the mystery of his death?
Lake County has a long history of politically motivated and bumbling law enforcement officials who appeared to put career advancement over solving crimes. Wrongful convictions, about which we have written many times, were not uncommon.
We thought those days were gone, but apparently not. Now various law enforcement officers and the county coroner are squabbling like children, quite publicly, rather than working together to investigate the death of Fox Lake Police Lt. Joseph Gliniewicz.
Knock it off, gentlemen.
Amateur Hour began last week when top members of an investigative task force met with the pathologist who performed the slain officer’s autopsy. The task force apparently did not, likely intentionally, invite the pathologist’s boss, Lake County Coroner Thomas Rudd.
The next day, leaders of the task force issued a press release ripping Rudd for compromising the investigation. They complained Rudd had revealed details about Gliniewicz’s death that only the killer or a witness would know.
Did Rudd really do that? Maybe. He did tell reporters that Gliniewicz had been shot in the torso and that suicide had not been ruled out.
But trashing Rudd by press release? Calling him “unprofessional” and “completely irresponsible”?
That in itself is unprofessional. That is not how pros pull a team together.
We detect a grudge match. A lot of these people have issues with each other.
Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran is running for state’s attorney against incumbent Mike Nerheim. Rudd has repeatedly criticized Nerheim for how he handled the case of a day care worker convicted of killing a child in 2009. George Filenko, commander of the Lake County Major Crime Task Force, helped take the day care worker’s confession.
Speaking of the Lt. Gliniewicz investigation last week, Filenko said Rudd had put “the entire case at risk.”
We don’t know about that, but we do know this:
While everybody squabbles, the trail grows cold.
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