Judge denies motion to dismiss charges against Melodie Gliniewicz

A Lake County judge has denied a request to dismiss four of the nine charges against the widow of disgraced Fox Lake Police Lt. Joe Gliniewicz.

In making her ruling Tuesday, Judge Victoria Rossetti said Melodie Gliniewicz, 51, of Antioch Township, was legally accountable for funds misappropriated from Fox Lake Explorer Post 300 between September 2008 and September 2015.

Joe Gliniewicz was the director of the Explorer's post, and Melodie Gliniewicz was listed in documents as a citizen adviser.

The ruling came after attorneys for Melodie Gliniewicz filed a motion to dismiss all four counts of unlawful use of charitable funds exceeding $1,000 for personal benefit. Those four counts are the highest class of felonies filed in the case and carry the longest prison sentences if she is convicted.

Of those four counts, some claim Joe and Melodie Gliniewicz seized control of funds earmarked for the Explorer post and used the monies for their collective gain, authorities said. Others claim Joe Gliniewicz used the funds for himself while Melodie Gliniewicz served as a trustee or was operating in fiduciary control of the accounts.

Defense Attorney Donald Morrison did not comment after the hearing.

Melodie Gliniewicz was charged in January and previously pleaded not guilty to felony counts of conspiracy, unlawful use of charitable funds for personal gain, money laundering, and a misdemeanor count of conspiracy.

If found guilty of all charges at trial, she can be sentenced to a maximum seven years in prison, authorities said. The charges are also probationable. The misdemeanor count of conspiracy carries a sentence of up to one year in jail and fines,

The charges against Melodie Gliniewicz came after an investigation following the death of Joe Gliniewicz, who authorities said staged his suicide as a murder in September because he feared his thefts from the Explorer post were about to be uncovered.

Lake County Major Crime Task Force investigators found inconsistencies in financial documents involving Joe Gliniewicz while investigating his death. The Explorers fund was used to pay for a trip to Hawaii, many coffee shop purchases, tickets for the Fox Lake Theatre, and more than 400 restaurant charges, authorities have said.

Attorneys for Melodie Gliniewicz have previously denied any wrongdoing.

Gliniewicz's trial was delayed Wednesday to Nov. 14. A status hearing in the case is set for Aug. 16.

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