Lawmaker's plan could eventually take away Gliniewicz pension

A suburban Republican lawmaker wants to prevent Lt. Joe Gliniewicz's widow of receiving benefits from her late husband's police pension if she's eventually convicted of wrongdoing.

Melodie Gliniewicz has pleaded not guilty to charges of unlawful use of charitable funds and money laundering, but her attorney argues she shouldn't be punished for the misdeeds of her late husband, the Fox Lake police officer who killed himself last year but staged his death to look like murder.

State Sen. Pamela Althoff, a McHenry Republican, says her new legislation would prevent someone from collecting survivor pension benefits if convicted of a felony connected to a spouse's official duties.

Althoff said Fox Lake officials brought the idea to her.

"It was taxpayer dollars," she said. "And because of that connection, they feel it would be inappropriate then for the very same taxpayer dollars to be provided to her as a pension."

The Fox Lake Police Pension Board is set to meet today to consider what role village officials can have in the eventual determination of Joe Gliniewicz's pension.

Althoff said her plan might still need to be tweaked. And it could be tough to get done because it hasn't yet gotten a hearing. Lawmakers are set to end their session May 31.

Pensions in Illinois have been taken away in high-profile cases before. Most recently, former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert lost his teacher pension after being sentenced on federal banking charges.

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