Illinois Cop Who Staged Suicide Talked About Hiring Hit Man on Village Administrator in Text Messages
Lt. Joe Gliniewicz also had cocaine in his desk
Fox Lake, Illinois Police Lt. Joe Gliniewicz, who authorities say staged his own suicide to cover up alleged “extensive criminal acts” including embezzlement, was so frustrated with a village administrator who was investigating police funds that he discussed hiring a hitman in a phone call and written messages, police confirm to PEOPLE.
In a Facebook messenger transcript obtained by PEOPLE, Gliniewicz wrote to an unnamed woman, “being forced to retire by new village administrator[.] Work life has ben a living HELL the last 2 months.” (The spelling in Gliniewicz’s messages is being presented as is.)
He continues, “Close to entertaining a meeting with a mutual aquantance of our[s,]” the message reads.
Lake County sheriff’s Detective Chris Covelli tells PEOPLE that after investigators uncovered the message, they contacted the recipient, a woman who told them the messages were followed up with a phone call between Gliniewicz and herself.
According to Covelli, the recipient said “the conversation was about Gliniewicz talking to her to initiate a hit on the village administrator.” Covelli adds that the mutual acquaintance was a “high-ranking member of a motorcycle gang.”
However, Covelli says the alleged gang member said he never had contact with Gliniewicz.
Cops: Cocaine Found in Gliniewicz’s Desk After His Death
In a separate revelation, Covelli says that after Gliniewicz’s Sept. 1 death, officers found small packets of cocaine in his desk that had no connection to any police cases. “It’s unknown what this cocaine was for,” Covelli said. “It’s odd. It’s very odd.”
One theory about the drugs was that Gliniewicz was scheming to plant the cocaine on the administrator, Anne Marrin, Covelli says: “We don’t have anything to prove a connection, but it’s a theory they discussed.”
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The new details come a day after officials announced during a news conference that Gliniewicz, 52, took his own life and staged it as a murder scene. Cops said that Gliniewicz was embezzling money from the department’s Police Explorer program, which he oversaw.
Lake County Major Crimes Task Force Commander George Filenko said at a press conference Wednesday that Gliniewicz was involved in “extensive criminal acts” and stole tens of thousands of dollars over seven years from the Explorers, a program which provides training to young people interested in careers in law enforcement. Filenko said Gliniewicz used the cash for personal expenses, travel, gym memberships, adult websites and his mortgage.
Gliniewicz Message: ‘This Situation… Would Give Her the Means To CRUCIFY ME if it Were Discovered’
In the months before his death, Marrin had been reviewing all of the village’s departments and had requested an accounting of the Explorer’s assets, which she learned Gliniewicz was “concerned” about, she said during Wednesday’s press conference.
“This village administrator hates me and the explorer program,” reads one of Gliniewicz’s messages. (Gliniewicz deleted the message but law enforcement officers were able to recover it, Covelli said.) “This situation right here would give her the means to CRUCIFY ME if it were discovered.”
In another message, an unnamed person writes to Gliniewicz about the hope that Marrin might get a DUI, to which Gliniewicz responds, “Trust me ive thougit through MANY SCENARIOS from planting things to the volo bog,” he wrote. (Volo Bog is a remote, marshy nature preserve near Fox Lake.)
Marrin told reporters that Gliniewicz’s messages “were a threat to me personally.” She did not respond on Thursday to PEOPLE’s requests for comment.
Revelations from the case continue to have a ripple effect, as it was also disclosed that police are investigating Gliniewicz’s wife and son, Melodie and D.J. Gliniewicz, to determine if they had any role in the alleged embezzlement.
A statement released Wednesday by their attorney, Henry “Skip” Tonigan, said the two are cooperating with investigators. He did not return messages from PEOPLE on Thursday.