The criminal trial of Melodie Gliniewicz is now set for a status hearing Dec. 12, and a potential start date of Feb. 6, after defense attorneys filed an amended motion to dismiss all charges against her.
The indictment counts stem from the alleged misuse of funds in the nonprofit Fox Lake Explorer Post’s bank accounts, in collusion with her late husband, Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Gliniewicz.
Defense attorney Donald Morrison filed the motion Oct. 28 and contended that Melodie Gliniewicz “was not a signatory on any Fox Lake Explorer 300 accounts and had absolutely no control over funds of the explorer program,” according to the document. Prosecutors have 28 days to respond, followed by a defense rebuttal.
Lake County Circuit Court Judge James Booras granted the delay at a hearing Nov. 15. This is the defense’s second attempt to dismiss all charges. They were previously rebuffed by Judge Victoria Rossetti, whom recused herself from the proceedings, due to a possible conflict of interest. Rossetti was also up for retention on the Nov. 8 general election ballot, and was successful in her bid.
Charles Gliniewicz committed suicide Sept. 1, in a carefully planned attempt to make it appear as a homicide, when the village’s Administrator Anne Marrin had requested an accounting of the Explorer accounts, as part of an overall village assets survey. The Lake County Major Crimes Task Force indicated that scenario at a Nov. 1, 2015 news conference, amid rumors that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had been seeking to talk with him, and had supplied bank records to the task force.
The defense attorneys also indicated that Charles Gliniewicz was the sole individual in control of the Explorer accounts between January 2009 and March 2015. A task force press release from the Nov. 1 gathering displayed text and email messages recovered from the late officer’s cell phone, and implied that Individual No. 1 and Individual No. 2 were the main contacts and the discourses concerned monetary aspects and their discovery of malfeasance.
The messages, prior to March 2015, substantiate the claims by attorneys for the widow, corroborating the time-frame. The March 2015 date going forward was when the officer changed bank accounts, and made his widow a signee on them. Melodie Gliniewicz, 52, of Antioch, has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
Melodie Gliniewicz, 51, was indicted in January, by the Lake County Grand Jury, with additional charges in April, all stemming from approximately $10,000 spent for personal or business use, from the bank accounts of the disbanded Fox Lake Explorer Post 300 accounts. Both the late Charles, and his widow, Melodie, had acted in a fiduciary capacity with the accounts.
Defense attorneys have long maintained the Gliniewicz widow is being punished for the husband’s wrongdoing. The bulk of the nine indictments surround three counts of Disbursing Charitable Funds Without Authority and for Personal Benefit (Class 2 Felonies), one count of Disbursing Charitable Funds without Authority and for Personal Benefit (Class 3 Felony), one count of Money Laundering (Class 2 Felony), and one count of Money Laundering (Class 3 Felony).
Another complication is her husband’s pension through the Fox Lake Police Pension Board, and its disbursement. Pension board President Fred Loffredo had said the benefits application was sent to her Sept. 2, 2015, and not returned until April 2016. The remunerative amount, calculated in a 50-75 percent range, due to the circumstances of death, would amount to approximately $45,000 annually, at the minimum.
Loffredo had said the board would wait for the outcome of the criminal proceedings before entering into deliberations.