Civil-rights lawsuit in Gliniewicz case settled, attorney says

  • Charles Joseph Gliniewicz

    Charles Joseph Gliniewicz

Updated 7/1/2016 10:13 PM

A federal lawsuit filed by a 26-year-old Fox Lake man who said he was framed for the fictitious murder of disgraced Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz was dismissed Friday, according to court documents.

Kevin O'Connor, the attorney for plaintiff Vernon Randolph III, said in an email Friday, "The case is settled," adding that he was told to keep information about the settlement confidential.


When contacted Friday, Fox Lake Mayor Donny Schmit confirmed that "the case is over," but he said he could not comment until he was informed on all of the details.

The documents state that the case before Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer has been terminated, with the cause "dismissed with prejudice."

Randolph had filed suit against the Gliniewicz estate, the village of Fox Lake, Schmit and former Fox Lake police Chief Michael Behan.

Randolph, who is black, charged that Gliniewicz illegally detained and threatened him and violated his civil rights on multiple occasions beginning in October 2014, when, Randolph alleges, he was pulled over by Gliniewicz as he was returning home after dropping off academic transcripts at McHenry County College to retain his basketball eligibility.

Randolph claimed Gliniewicz illegally searched his vehicle, dumping out the contents of Randolph's backpack and asking him "where the drugs were." Randolph replied that he did not have any drugs.

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When Gliniewicz failed to turn up any drugs, he asked Randolph who else had drugs, telling him that "he better give him a name," the suit alleged.

He also threatened that he would be watching Randolph and told him that if he did not "make something happen for him," he would "make something happen to him," the suit alleged.

Randolph said he was subsequently harassed at a gas station near his residence and over the next few months was pulled over or subjected to hand gestures indicating he was being watched.

Randolph also said Gliniewicz would hang around a bus stop where Randolph's daughter would wait on her way to school in Fox Lake.

Randolph said that on Sept. 1, 2015, Gliniewicz fabricated evidence that targeted him as a suspect in what was believed to be Gliniewicz's murder. In November, investigators announced he had killed himself to cover up his embezzlement of funds from the Fox Lake Law Enforcement Explorers Post 300.


On the day of his suicide, Gliniewicz referred in a radio dispatch to two suspects, one black man and two white men.

In court documents, Randolph asserted that, "(T) here were two white men that also took their children to this same bus stop on a daily basis," adding= "Gliniewicz was frequently in the vicinity of the bus stop and aware of Plaintiff and the other two individuals that were there regularly with their children."

Randolph said that during the investigation, he was surrounded by ATF agents with guns pointed at him and his child and was subjected to search and interrogation. His home was also searched and was subjected to "DNA swabbing based on Gliniewicz's factious crime based solely on his race," he alleged.

Defense attorneys said there is no allegation that any member of the Fox Lake police force was aware of any contact between Gliniewicz and Randolph before Gliniewicz's death.

They added that there is no link between "Gliniewicz's alleged 'false report' that he was following 'a black male and two white males' and Plaintiff other than the allegation that Plaintiff was a black man in Fox Lake."

During a news conference in November, O'Connor said he believed Gliniewicz "put a target on (Randolph's) back for almost a year."

"Immediately that day they went to his house and were questioning him within hours of this whole occurrence. So he was pointed as being one of the targets," he said.

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