Police say the widow of the Illinois cop who shocked the world by staging his on the job suicide to look like murder was a partner in her late husband’s crime and now faces numerous felony charges.
An Illinois grand jury indicted Melodie Gliniewicz, 51, on four counts of misuse of charitable funds and two counts of money laundering. She’s free on $50,000 bail but faces over 20 years in prison, according to police.
Investigators say over the course of several years Melodie and her deceased husband, Fox Lake Police Lt., Joe Gliniewiecz, 52, embezzled tens of thousands of dollars from the Fox Lake Explorer Post—the young adult “police academy” the duo ran and were widely praised for.
“Detectives determined this money was used to finance a number of personal expenses and personal finances,” Lake County Undersheriff Ray Rose said in a press release.
Police say the couple used the embezzled money for vacations and over 400 restaurant bills.
Fox News learned Joe Gliniewicz was also using some of the money for the mortgage, car repairs, coffee stops and even adult websites, according to police.
Gliniewicz, a tattooed officer with a shaved head, was described by those who knew him as tough when needed, but also as sweet and a role model to youngsters aspiring to go into law enforcement. He had also served in the U.S. Army and was affectionately known as "G.I. Joe."
But Gliniewicz also was apparently living a double life, stealing and laundering money by forging signatures on official documents for seven years and had a lengthy personnel file. Fox News learned a female colleague sued the police department, claiming Joe Gliniewicz forced her into oral sex numerous times.
Gliniewicz died on Sept. 1, triggering a manhunt that lasted more than 2 months before police concluded that he'd killed himself.
Matt Finn is a Fox News correspondent based in the Chicago bureau. Follow him on Twitter: @MattFinnFNC