The Fox Lake Police Lieutenant hailed as a hero after he was shot and killed in the line of duty was actually an embezzler who staged an elaborate suicide plot to make his death look like murder investigators revealed during a news conference Wednesday.
George Filenko with the Lake County Major Crime Task Force said during a news conference Wednesday morning that after an exhaustive investigation, they have determine that Lt. Joe Gliniewicz killed himself as he feared being exposed in a seven-year embezzlement plot involving him and two other unnamed individuals.
Lt. Gliniewicz died on September 1st after calling in seeing three suspicious individuals while on routine patrol. He was later found dead after being shot twice, the first bullet hitting his vest and the fatal shot hitting his torso. Investigators later revealed he had been shot with his own weapon.
Gliniewicz’s death led to an investigation which involved more than 150 people doing 25,000 man hours of work involving local, state and federal investigators following hundreds of leads.
During that process, investigators say they discovered deleted electronic messages that definitively proved that the lieutenant was concerned over a Village of Fox Lake internal audit which he feared might uncover his embezzlement from the Fox Lake Police Explorer’s program, which Gliniewicz ran.
Gliniewicz used the money for various personal reasons investigators said. The amount he had stolen was not disclosed.
Members of the Lake County Task Force also defended their approach to the investigation and lack of timely information to the public, saying they believed it was a homicide initially and gradually concluded otherwise as Gliniewicz’s financial records and electronic communications were reviewed.