Gliniewicz wanting to order hit on administrator 'a theory'

  • Fox Lake Adminstrator Anne Marrin speaks during a news conference at village hall Thursday night.

      Fox Lake Adminstrator Anne Marrin speaks during a news conference at village hall Thursday night. MICK ZAWISLAK | Staff Photographer

  • Lake County sheriff's spokesman Christopher Covelli addresses the media about the investigation into the death of Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz. Lake Major Crimes Task Force Cmdr. George Filenko is right and Lake County Coroner Thomas Rudd is left.

    Lake County sheriff's spokesman Christopher Covelli addresses the media about the investigation into the death of Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz. Lake Major Crimes Task Force Cmdr. George Filenko is right and Lake County Coroner Thomas Rudd is left. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Charles Joseph Gliniewicz

    Charles Joseph Gliniewicz

 
 
Updated 11/6/2015 4:55 AM

She didn't learn of potential threats to her life until after Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz's death, but Village Administrator Anne Marrin said she found the news unsettling.

"I became aware of this pretty much at one time. It was very scary. It was surreal," she said Thursday evening in a news conference outside the Fox Lake village hall.

 

During the two-month probe into Gliniewicz's death, a task force investigated whether the veteran cop discussed hiring someone to kill Marrin because he feared she would uncover his embezzlement, authorities said.

The line of inquiry was based on recovered text messages and an interview with a woman who claimed Gliniewicz had spoken with her about finding a motorcycle gang member to kill Marrin, Lake County sheriff's police spokesman Christopher Covelli said.

In an April text, which Covelli shared with the Daily Herald, Gliniewicz said he was "close to entertaining a meeting with a mutual acquaintance of our with the word White in their nickname."

But in the end, Covelli said, investigators couldn't verify or refute the woman's allegations.

"It's a theory," Covelli told the Daily Herald. "(It's) nothing we can prove."

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Police even spoke with the motorcycle gang member at the heart of the discussion, Covelli said, but that interview shed no light on Gliniewicz's intentions.

"He denied having any knowledge of any of this," Covelli said.

Covelli called the tip "a closed lead." No charges are pending against the woman or the gang member in the case, he said.

Marrin, who was city administrator in Prospect Heights before coming to Fox Lake in March 2014, said she had "very little interaction" with the 30-year police veteran, generally only at special events.

"Most of our interactions were very pleasant," she said.

But she began to have suspicions something was amiss after asking for an inventory of equipment stored in a building used by the Fox Lake Law Enforcement Explorer program run by Gliniewicz.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"There were a lot of red flags," she said. "I suspected there was equipment in there we didn't have" inventoried.

She said Gliniewicz said he would provide the information but never did. Marrin said she received an email from Gliniewicz the morning he killed himself, saying he would get the information to her by noon or 1 p.m. at the latest.

Covelli also confirmed investigators found an unlabeled evidence bag containing "a small amount of cocaine" in Gliniewicz's desk in the days after he took his life.

The cocaine was found during a search of Gliniewicz's office. It was not associated with any case.

"There was no explanation for this cocaine to be sitting there," Covelli said.

The task force investigated whether Gliniewicz intended to use the drugs to frame Marrin to get her off his trail. However, police found no conclusive evidence, Covelli said.

Gliniewicz shot himself to death Sept. 1 near downtown Fox Lake but staged the scene to look like a murder. For weeks, police pursued the case as a homicide, investigating hundreds of tips in their search for the three men Gliniewicz claimed to be chasing before his body was found in a swampy area by a fellow officer.

But the case took a different direction as the task force examined texts, emails and bank records that ultimately indicated Gliniewicz had stolen thousands of dollars from the Explorer youth program, and that Gliniewicz was afraid Marrin was going to uncover the crimes as part of a village audit.

Those texts, some of which were released to the media, contain unflattering references to Marrin. In a news conference Wednesday, Marrin said she felt threatened by some of the messages, which were between Gliniewicz and two other people police haven't publicly identified.

The thefts remain under investigation. No charges have been filed.

Marrin said Thursday police policies and procedures are being reviewed.

"I've been assured my safety is fine," she said.

Mayor Donny Schmit, who also spoke at the news conference, said Marrin was hired from among 63 applicants and was charged with conducting reviews of all departments and practices. He said he supports audits and other measures to improve practices, procedures and make corrections.

"We will complete the audits and make the necessary corrections," he said. "Together we will get through this and make Fox Lake even stronger."

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