Judge to decide whether to drop some charges against Melodie Gliniewicz
Unlawful use of charitable funds charges against Melodie Gliniewicz should be dropped because she should not be penalized for the actions of her disgraced husband, her defense attorney said in court Tuesday.
Defense attorney Donald Morrison wants all four counts of that charge dismissed, claiming Melodie Gliniewicz, 51, of Antioch Township, was not a fiduciary trustee on the Fox Lake Law Enforcement Explorer Post 300 bank accounts and did not use the money obtained through it for her personal benefit.
"The state is attempting to charge Melodie Gliniewicz with the actions of her late-husband, Lt. (Joseph) Charles Gliniewicz," Morrison said in court.
Assistant State's Attorney Scott Turk argued Joe and Melodie Gliniewicz were fiduciary trustees of the Explorer Post 300 accounts and worked in tandem to take donated money for personal use.
Lake County Judge Victoria Rossetti said she would review case law before ruling on those four counts against Melodie Gliniewicz. A ruling is expected June 14.
Melodie Gliniewicz previously pleaded not guilty to felony counts of conspiracy, unlawful use of charitable funds, money laundering, and a misdemeanor count of conspiracy.
If found guilty at trial of the most serious felony charge, she could be sentenced to three to seven years in prison, authorities said. She could also be sentenced to probation. The misdemeanor count of conspiracy carries a sentence of up to one year in jail and fines, Rossetti said in court,
Melodie Gliniewicz is accused of using money donated to Explorer Post 300 for her own benefit in a scheme she concocted with her deceased husband, Fox Lake Police Lt. Joe Gliniewicz.
The charges against her 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.