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Filenko announces retirement from Lake County task force

George Filenko | Sun-Times file photo

Round Lake Park Police Chief George Filenko announced his retirement Wednesday as commander of the Lake County Major Crime Task Force, which handles large investigations, including the high-profile suicide of Fox Lake Police Lt. Joe Gliniewicz.

Filenko’s retirement is effective April 1, but he will remain on the task force “in an advisory capacity, as needed,” according to a statement from Det. Christopher Covelli, Task Force spokesman.

Zion police Detective Kyle Helgesen will serve as interim commander of the Task Force, and Filenko will remain as chief of the Round Lake Park department.

“Throughout Commander Filenko’s career with the Lake County Major Crime Task Force, he has been involved in over 200 homicide investigations, including some of the toughest and most-scrutinized cases, not only in Lake County and Illinois, but nationwide!” the statement said.

Filenko was commander of the task force during the investigation of the death of Gliniewicz, the disgraced Fox Lake lieutenant who who allegedly committed suicide to cover up the theft of money from a youth police group he led.

Gliniewicz used the money to pay for pornography, a luxury trip to Hawaii and restaurant meals before killing himself on Sept. 1, 2015, according to authorities, then staged the suicide to look like a murder.