Fox Lake pension board sets Gliniewicz hearing date

  • Fox Lake Police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz

    Fox Lake Police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz

  • Melodie Gliniewicz has applied to collect her deceased husband's pension.

    Melodie Gliniewicz has applied to collect her deceased husband's pension.

 
 
Updated 4/18/2016 12:21 PM

The Fox Lake Police Pension Board will hold a hearing May 25 to decide whether village officials should be allowed to intervene in discussions about pension payments to family members of Lt. Joe Gliniewicz.

Pension board attorney Laura Goodloe said the hearing will be to discuss only the village's request for intervention, not decide how much pension the Gliniewicz family should receive.

 

The village filed paperwork to intervene in the proceedings after Melodie Gliniewicz applied to collect her deceased husband's pension.

Village officials said the move is not to necessarily block pension payments to Melodie Gliniewicz, but rather to give the village a voice when the pension is discussed.

"The village has a role to play in the process," village spokesman Dave Bayless said Monday. "So we want to represent the taxpayers and have a seat at the table when the pension is discussed."

The five-member pension board is the governing body that decides the amount of money to be paid out to spouses when an officer dies.

Surviving spouses of Illinois police officers killed in the line of duty are eligible for 100 percent of the officer's salary at the time of death. Families of active officers whose deaths are not considered "line of duty" get 50 percent to 75 percent of the officer's salary.

Joe Gliniewicz died at age 52 with 30 years of police service, so his wife would be eligible to receive 50 percent to 75 percent of his salary, pension experts have said.

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The only factor that takes away a police officer's right to a pension is conviction for a job-related felony, pension experts have said. However, Joe Gliniewicz wasn't convicted of crimes, so there may be no loss of rights.

Joe Gliniewicz was found dead by police officers at the edge of a swamp near an abandoned cement factory at the east end of Honing Road on Sept. 1. Initially, members of the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force investigated the death as a homicide, but in November, the task force announced he had killed himself to cover up financial embezzlement from Fox Lake Police Explorer Post 300.

Melodie Gliniewicz, 51, was charged in January with felony counts of conspiracy, misuse of charitable funds and money laundering for her role in accusations made against her deceased husband. A count of disbursing charitable funds without authority for personal benefit was previously dismissed by prosecutors.

The charges against Melodie Gliniewicz stem from the investigation into Joe Gliniewicz's death and the finances surrounding the Explorer post, where she served as a civilian adviser.

Attorneys for Melodie Gliniewicz have previously denied any wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty to the charges in court. Her trial is tentatively set for June 27.

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