Melodie Gliniewicz pleads guilty, avoids embezzlement trial

Gliniewicz was accused of helping her late husband, Lt. Joe Gliniewicz, embezzle money from a Fox Lake police youth program.

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Melonie Gliniewicz, the wife of Fox Lake police officer Lt. Joe Gliniewicz, leaves her husband’s funeral servce at Antioch Community High School on September 7, 2015 in Fox Lake, Illinois. Gliniewicz was shot and killed on September 1, while on duty in Fox Lake. Police are searching for three suspects in connection with his death.

Melonie Gliniewicz leaves the funeral service for her husband, Fox Lake Police Lt. Joe Gliniewicz, at Antioch Community High School in September 2015.

Scott Olson/Getty file

Melodie Gliniewicz pleaded guilty Friday morning to one felony count of deceptive practices in connection with financial misdeeds committed by her late husband, Joseph Gliniewicz, a former Fox Lake police officer.

Joe Gliniewicz staged his own death on Sept. 1, 2015, to appear as if he’d been gunned down in the line of duty in order to head off revelations that he’d been stealing money from a police youth program.

Melodie Gliniewicz’s guilty plea is part of a deal her legal team made with prosecutors to avoid the trial set to start Tuesday.

The charge is a felony punishable by up to three years in prison. But prosecutors said Friday they would argue for a sentence of felony probation. Gliniewicz’s attorneys will argue she should receive what is called second-chance probation, an option for some first-time offenders.

Attorney Don Morrison of Kelleher + Holland LLC, part of Gliniewicz’s legal team, said the difference between the two punishments is that regular felony probation would result in a conviction on her record for the rest of her life. But if the judge decides she deserves second-chance probation and successfully completes the requirements, the case essentially would be dismissed.

Judge James Booras will make that decision at a sentencing hearing on April 12. Booras said Friday that while it is not “etched in stone,” he strongly will consider sentencing Gliniewicz to second-chance probation.


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