The widow of the disgraced Illinois police officer who committed suicide in September and made the incident look like a murder has been indicted by a grand jury on felony charges of money laundering, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.
During the investigation into the death of Fox Lake Police Lt. Joseph Gliniewicz, officials found that non-business related money had been withdrawn from the Fox Lake Police Explorer Post youth program, the sheriff's office said.
Gliniewicz's wife, 51-year-old Melodie Gliniewicz, was an adult adviser with the Fox Lake Police Explorer Post who had fiduciary responsibilities, the statement said. Joseph Gliniewicz had overseen the post for more than 20 years.
“The investigation revealed money was withdrawn from the police explorer account over the course of several years," said Ray Rose, an undersheriff with the Lake County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.
The funds were used to pay for personal expenses, such as a trip to Hawaii as well as at Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, the Fox Lake Theatre, and more than 400 restaurants, police said.
It was not immediately clear what role Melodie Gliniewicz allegedly played in the case.
She was arrested after turning herself into the Lake County Sheriff's Office, police said. She was indicted on three counts of disbursing charitable funds without authority and for personal benefit, one count of disbursing charitable funds without authority and for personal benefit and two counts of money laundering. Her bond was set at $50,000.
“This entire matter has been a sad and tragic saga for the Village of Fox Lake," said Lake County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim. "My hope is that we will be able to close this unfortunate chapter and move forward with ensuring a professional and transparent police department dedicated to the citizens of Fox Lake."
Melodie Gliniewicz's attorneys released a statement saying that she has "suffered greatly" and "continues to move her family forward" since the "emotionally traumatizing" death of her husband.
"Considering Melodie’s cooperation with law enforcement, she is devastated by the decision to bring charges against her," her lawyers, David P. Buckley and Andrew J. Kelleher said in a statement. "Melodie is a victim of her husband’s secret actions and looks forward to her day in Court to show the world her innocence."
Gliniewicz died in September by a "carefully staged suicide" after the police veteran committed what authorities described as "extensive criminal acts" over several years.