Widow of Cop Who Staged His Own Suicide Indicted

Melodie Gliniewicz faces 6 felony charges
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2016 5:49 AM CST
Melodie Gliniewicz turns herself in to authorities in Lake County, Ill.   (Mark Welsh/Daily Herald via AP)

(Newser) – The widow of Joe Gliniewicz, the embezzling police lieutenant who staged his suicide to make it look like he was killed in the line of duty, has been indicted on charges that she participated in her husband's theft of money from a group dedicated to getting kids interested in careers in law enforcement. Melodie Gliniewicz, while maintaining her innocence, has turned herself into authorities in Lake County, Ill., CNN reports. She faces six felony counts, including money laundering and disbursing charitable funds for personal benefit. Following Joe Gliniewicz's suicide on Sept. 1, investigators uncovered evidence that he had been embezzling money from the Fox Lake Police Explorer Post for years to pay for a lifestyle that far exceeded his $96,000-a-year salary, ABC7 reports. Joe Gliniewicz led the group, and his wife held "a fiduciary role as an adult adviser."

Authorities say the stolen money was used for everything from trips to Dunkin' Donuts to a trip to Hawaii. And in one text message recovered by police, Joe Gliniewicz tells his wife that he used the "exploder account" (his words) to pay for a $624.70 flight, CNN reports. Lawyers for Melodie Gliniewicz, 51, say she is a "victim" of his "secret actions and looks forward to her day in court to show the world her innocence." That might be an uphill battle, says an ABC legal analyst. Joe Gliniewicz had posted plenty of photos to social media showing him and his wife enjoying their lavish lifestyle, and "it's going to show that she should have had reason to believe that these funds were stolen." (Joe Gliniewicz wanted to put a hit on the village administrator he feared would uncover his embezzlement.)

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