Lawyer questions charges against widow of disgraced Fox Lake cop
A defense attorney for an Antioch Township widow accused of assisting her disgraced husband in embezzling funds from a Fox Lake police youth group said he may challenge the constitutionality of all the charges against her.
Attorney Donald Morrison told Judge Victoria Rossetti the statute used to file charges against Melodie Gliniewicz, 51, is too vague. He did not elaborate, but said he will make a final decision on whether to file the motion after a May 17 hearing to dismiss charges filed against Gliniewicz.
Morrison also entered a not guilty plea on behalf of Gliniewicz to four new charges prosecutors filed against her. Those new charges include two counts of felony conspiracy, an additional count of felony unlawful use of charitable funds for personal benefit, and a misdemeanor count of conspiracy.
If found guilty at trial of the most serious felony charge, she could be sentenced from 3 to 7 years in prison, authorities said. She could also face probation.
The misdemeanor count of conspiracy carries a sentence of up to one year in jail and fines, Rossetti said in court,
Morrison and Gliniewicz did not respond to media questions after leaving the court Wednesday.
Gliniewicz previously pleaded not guilty to three felony counts of misuse of charitable funds and two counts of money laundering for her role in accusations made against her deceased husband, Fox Lake Police Lt. Joe Gliniewicz. A fourth count of disbursing charitable funds without authority for personal benefit was dismissed by prosecutors at a previous hearing.
The charges against Melodie Gliniewicz stem from an investigation that began in November into the finances surrounding Fox Lake Law Enforcement Explorer Post 300. That inquiry followed the death of Joe Gliniewicz, who authorities said staged his suicide as a murder in September because he feared his own 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. Her trial is tentatively set for June 27.