VERNON HILLS, Ill. – State Rep. Carol Sente, D-Vernon Hills, is backing an effort to stop felons from receiving survivor pension benefits after it came to light that Melodie Gliniewicz may have helped her late husband, disgraced Fox Lake Lt. Joseph Gliniewicz, embezzle money from a local youth organization.
“The felony charges brought against Melodie Gliniewicz that allege she assisted her husband in defrauding thousands of dollars in charitable funds from the Fox Lake Explorer program are extremely alarming,” Sente said. “No one convicted of a felony like that should be allowed a taxpayer-funded pension.”
Authorities found Lt. Joseph Gliniewicz, a three-decade veteran of the Fox Lake Police Department, shot to death in September 2015. Months of investigation uncovered that Gliniewicz staged his suicide to look like a homicide in efforts to cover up the thousands he embezzled from a youth policing program called the “Fox Lake Explorers.” Authorities soon after charged Melodie with a felony alleging her involvement in her husband’s embezzlement. Melodie Gliniewicz has now filed for her husband’s pension, which stands at between 50 and 75 percent of her husband’s $96,000 salary. She currently awaits trial for the charges brought against her.
The Sente-supported House Bill 350 stops any person eligible for a survivor pension from receiving it if they are convicted of any felony relating to the service of the deceased member. Under the Illinois Constitution, House Bill 350 would only apply to future cases, and as a result would not apply to the Gliniewicz case.
“The case of Gliniewicz and his wife exposes another example of where the potential for abuse exists in our pension system,” Sente said. “People who commit a felony against the taxpayers should not be able to cash in at their expense. This new legislation sends a clear message that violating the public’s trust does not pay off.”
House Bill 350 passed 108-0 recently and now heads to the Illinois Senate.
Visit Rep Sente’s website
272-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 524-0443 FAX
The Laschen Center
294 Evergreen Dr.
Vernon Hills, IL 60061
(847) 984-2206 FAX