Gliniewicz was never held accountable, interim police chief says
Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz was a poor manager who was never held accountable for his actions, Fox Lake's interim police chief said Wednesday.
Interim Chief Mike Keller said he isn't shocked by how little Gliniewicz's name appeared in charging documents in the last decade because the veteran officer who killed himself "was essentially able to do whatever he wanted."
The statement comes after Lake County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim said that since 2006, Gliniewicz's name appears as a lead or backup officer in 13 criminal court cases in which a defendant was found guilty or accepted a plea deal. Nerheim said his office is contacting the defense attorneys in those cases due to potential misconduct involved in the arrests.
Gliniewicz was involved in nine other cases that resulted in charges being dismissed or dropped by prosecutors, he said.
Keller said the numbers show Gliniewicz was a poor employee.
"Yes, I would say that number is low," he said of the charging documents. "But it doesn't shock me, not with everything I have learned about his conduct at the department since coming here."
Keller said Gliniewicz was the lieutenant in charge of administration in Fox Lake, and he was tasked with training, keeping records, controlling the shooting range and other administrative duties. The department also previously had lieutenant positions for the investigation and patrol divisions.
However, Keller said he's learned Gliniewicz spent most of his days working on the records department and the Fox Lake Explorers post, a position he was not supposed to be paid for. "He didn't really have any responsibilities," Keller said. "He should have been held accountable for his actions."
Gliniewicz was found dead Sept. 1, in what was later determined to be a staged homicide. Officials said Gliniewicz killed himself because of the stress that his embezzlement of funds from the youth Explorers post would be discovered. He used the money to pay for mortgages, vacations, adult websites and personal loans.
Keller was brought in as interim chief because former Police Chief Mike Behan retired three days before Gliniewicz was found dead.
Round Lake Park Police Chief George Filenko, who also serves as the commander of the Lake County Task Force, said he was "shocked" to learn how few cases Gliniewicz was involved in. He said Round Lake Park employs commanders rather than lieutenants, but he estimated commanders annually make about 60 arrests in a town of 7,000 people. Fox Lake has about 10,000 residents.
"I'm not sure what the overall duties of a lieutenant in Fox Lake are, but my commanders are out pulling double duty on the street in addition to their administrative duties," he said. "The commanders are supposed to be a boss first, but they are the third officer at any scene and also work investigations."
Keller said he has restructured the Fox Lake Police Department to employ an administrative and operations lieutenant. Investigations is run by a sergeant.