GRAYSLAKE, Ill. – The Illinois Senate passed legislation backed by state Rep. Sam Yingling, D-Grayslake, to stop scam artists from receiving survivor pension benefits after authorities realized Melodie Gliniewicz may have helped her late husband, disgraced Fox Lake Lt. Joseph Gliniewicz, embezzle money from a local youth organization and provide cover for his staged suicide.

“We may not be able to prevent Melodie Gliniewicz from getting a pension,” said Yingling, “but we can stop other corroborators like her who take advantage of the public trust from cashing out on one.”

Lt. Joseph Gliniewicz, a 30-year department veteran of the Fox Lake Police Department, was found shot to death in September 2015. Gliniewicz, initially provided a hero’s send-off, was later found out to have covered up his suicide to provide the appearance of a homicide in order to cover up the thousands he stole from a youth policing program. Authorities soon after charged Melodie with a felony for her involvement in her husband’s embezzlement. Melodie Gliniewicz has now filed for her husband’s pension. At the time of his death, Gliniewicz was earning $96,300. At 75 percent, the pension benefit would total more than $2 million if payouts continued for 30 years. Melodie Gliniewicz’s tentative court date is set for July 3 in Lake County.

The Yingling-sponsored House Bill 350 prohibits any person eligible to receive a survivor pension from receiving the pension if they are convicted of any felony relating to the service of the member. To comply with provisions of the Illinois Constitution, House Bill 350 would only apply to future cases, and as a result would not apply to the Gliniewicz case.

“The judicial system needs to do its job, but the legislative system has a role to play as well,” Yingling continued. “I applaud the Senate for potentially saving Illinois taxpayers untold sums of money and encourage the governor to sign this legislation.”

House Bill 350 now goes to the governor for approval.

Rep Sam YinglingRep Sam Yingling

(D-Round Lake Beach)
62nd District

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