Colleagues accused crooked cop who killed himself of years of misconduct: Records

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Disgraced Illinois Cop Who Staged Suicide Also Planned a Hit Job

Joseph Gliniewicz — the Illinois cop who committed suicide and tried to make it look like a heroic death in the line of duty — clashed for years with many of his own colleagues, who accused him of extraordinary misbehavior on and off the job, according to his personnel records.

Gliniewicz, 52, killed himself Sept. 1 and staged the scene to look as though he was killed by someone else, investigators say.

See photos from the manhunt for the killers of Charles Joseph Gliniewicz:

29 PHOTOS
Illinois Manhunt, Fox Lake Police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz
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Colleagues accused crooked cop who killed himself of years of misconduct: Records
FOX LAKE, IL - SEPTEMBER 02: Residents and police from Fox Lake and surrounding communities attend a vigil for slain Fox Lake police officer Lt. Joe Gliniewicz on September 2, 2015 in Fox Lake, Illinois. Gliniewicz was shot and killed yesterday during a foot chase with three suspects who remain at large. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
FOX LAKE, IL - SEPTEMBER 02: Officers salute as the family of slain Fox Lake police officer Lt. Joe Gliniewicz arrive for a vigil held in his honor on September 2, 2015 in Fox Lake, Illinois. Gliniewicz was shot and killed yesterday during a foot chase with three suspects. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Police officials follow Fox Lake Police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz's family after a vigil at Lakefront Park to honor him on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, in Fox Lake, Ill. Gliniewicz was shot and killed Tuesday while pursuing a group of suspicious men. Police are searching for a second day to locate three suspects in the killing. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
A mourner holds a sign during a vigil at Lakefront Park to honor the memory of Fox Lake Police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, in Fox Lake, Ill. Gliniewicz was shot and killed Tuesday while pursuing a group of suspicious men. Authorities broadened the hunt Wednesday for the suspects wanted in the fatal shooting. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Police search from a helicopter for suspects in the shooting of a police officer, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Ill. Fox Lake Police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz was shot and killed while pursuing a group of suspicious men. Police with helicopters, dogs and armed with rifles are conducting a massive manhunt in northern Illinois for the individuals believed to be involved in the death of the three-decade member of the department and a father of four sons. (AP Photo/Michael Schmidt)
This undated photo provided by the Fox Lake Police Department shows Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz, who was shot and killed Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015, in Fox Lake, Ill. Police with helicopters, dogs and armed with rifles were conducting a massive manhunt Tuesday in northern Illinois for the individuals believed to be involved in the death of Gliniewicz. (Fox Lake Police Department photo via AP)
Members of various police agencies gather as they continue searching for suspects in the shooting of a police officer, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Ill. Fox Lake Police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz was shot and killed while pursuing a group of suspicious men. Police with helicopters, dogs and armed with rifles are conducting a massive manhunt in northern Illinois for the individuals believed to be involved in the death of the three-decade member of the department and a father of four sons. (AP Photo/Michael Schmidt)
CORRECTS TO GLINIEWICZ FROM GLINIEWITZ- Police officers confer while searching for suspects in the shooting of a police officer Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015 outside Fox Lake, Ill. Fox Lake Police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz was shot and killed while pursuing a group of suspicious men. Police with helicopters, dogs and armed with rifles are conducting a massive manhunt in northern Illinois for the individuals believed to be involved in the death of the three-decade member of the department and a father of four sons. (AP Photo/Michael Schmidt)
A heavily armed police officer walks in a shopping area after searching for suspects in the shooting of a police officer Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Ill. Fox Lake Police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz was shot and killed while pursuing a group of suspicious men. Police with helicopters, dogs and armed with rifles are conducting a massive manhunt in northern Illinois for the individuals believed to be involved in the death of the three-decade member of the department and a father of four sons. (AP Photo/Michael Schmidt)
Police officers meet up before heading out for a manhunt on Tuesday, September 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Ill. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
FOX LAKE, IL - SEPTEMBER 01: Police officers search an area for suspects involved in shooting an officer September 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Illinois. A manhunt for three suspects is underway after an officer from Fox Lake Police was shot and killed this morning. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
FOX LAKE, IL - SEPTEMBER 01: Police officers get get a break after coming off a search mission as temperatures exceeded 90 degrees during a manhunt for three suspects in the murder of a Fox Lake Police officer on September 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Illinois. Lt. Joe Gliniewicz was found with a gunshot wound shortly after the department lost radio communication with him during a foot chase of three suspects. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
FOX LAKE, IL - SEPTEMBER 01: Police officers search an area for suspects involved in the shooting death of an officer September 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Illinois. A manhunt for three suspects is underway after an officer from Fox Lake Police was shot and killed this morning. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CORRECTS TO GLINIEWICZ FROM GLINIEWITZ- A police K-9 team rest after searching for suspects in the shooting of a police officer Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Ill. Fox Lake Police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz was shot and killed while pursuing a group of suspicious men. Police with helicopters, dogs and armed with rifles are conducting a massive manhunt in northern Illinois for the individuals believed to be involved in the death of the three-decade member of the department and a father of four sons. (AP Photo/Michael Schmidt)
FOX LAKE, IL - SEPTEMBER 01: A police sniper keeps watch from the roof of a home while other police search nearby for suspects involved in the shooting of an officer September 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Illinois. A manhunt for three suspects is underway after an officer from Fox Lake Police was shot and killed this morning. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
FOX LAKE, IL - SEPTEMBER 01: Police officers search an area for suspects involved in shooting an officer September 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Illinois. A manhunt for three suspects is underway after an officer from Fox Lake Police was shot and killed this morning. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
FOX LAKE, IL - SEPTEMBER 01: A police officers looks out across a search area as the manhunt continues for three suspects in the murder of a Fox Lake Police officer on September 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Illinois. Lt. Joe Gliniewicz was found with a gunshot wound shortly after the department lost radio communication with him during a foot chase of three suspects. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Supporters hold signs as police continue searching for suspects in the shooting of a police officer Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Ill. Fox Lake Police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewitz was shot and killed while pursuing a group of suspicious men. Police with helicopters, dogs and armed with rifles are conducting a massive manhunt in northern Illinois for the individuals believed to be involved in the death of the three-decade member of the department and a father of four sons. (AP Photo/Michael Schmidt)
Supporters hold signs as police continue searching for suspects in the shooting of a police officer Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Ill. Fox Lake Police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz was shot and killed while pursuing a group of suspicious men. Police with helicopters, dogs and armed with rifles are conducting a massive manhunt in northern Illinois for the individuals believed to be involved in the death of the three-decade member of the department and a father of four sons. (AP Photo/Michael Schmidt)
FOX LAKE, IL - SEPTEMBER 01: Sisters Brittany (L) and Renee Evans join other residents in showing their support as the manhunt continues for three suspects in the murder of a Fox Lake Police officer on September 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Illinois. Lt. Joe Gliniewicz was found with a gunshot wound shortly after the department lost radio communication with him during a foot chase of three suspects. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Members of local, state and federal police agencies gather as they continue searching for suspects in the shooting of a police officer Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Ill. Fox Lake Police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz was shot and killed while pursuing a group of suspicious men. Police with helicopters, dogs and armed with rifles are conducting a massive manhunt in northern Illinois for the individuals believed to be involved in the death of the three-decade member of the department and a father of four sons. (AP Photo/Michael Schmidt)
FOX LAKE, IL - SEPTEMBER 01: A police officer searches an area for suspects involved in shooting an officer September 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Illinois. A manhunt for three suspects is underway after an officer from Fox Lake Police was shot and killed this morning. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
A sniper and a lookout stand on top of a roof searching for two men following the killing of a police officer Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Ill. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
Police officers search for suspects after a police officer was shot on Tuesday, September 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Ill. (Joe Shuman/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
FOX LAKE, IL - SEPTEMBER 01: Police officers search an area for suspects involved in shooting an officer September 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Illinois. A manhunt for three suspects is underway after an officer from Fox Lake Police was shot and killed this morning. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
FOX LAKE, IL - SEPTEMBER 01: Police officers search an area for suspects involved in the shooting death of an officer September 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Illinois. A manhunt for three suspects is underway after an officer from Fox Lake Police was shot and killed this morning. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
FOX LAKE, IL - SEPTEMBER 01: A police officer cools down his search dog as temperatures exceeded 90 degrees during a manhunt for three suspects in the murder of a Fox Lake Police officer on September 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Illinois. Lt. Joe Gliniewicz was found with a gunshot wound shortly after the department lost radio communication with him during a foot chase of three suspects. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Police officers patrol a swampy area where a manhunt is taking place on Tuesday, September 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Ill. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
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Thursday, investigators said Gliniewicz — a lieutenant who joined the Fox Lake Police Department in 1985 — also tried to find a a hit man to kill the village administrator, who he feared would discover that he had been embezzling from the department's Explorers Program for children.

Related: Fox Lake Lt. Joseph Gliniewicz Tried to 'Put a Hit' on Administrator: Police

According to his personnel file, it wasn't the first time Gliniewicz's behavior had created serious friction in the department.

As early as May 1988, Gliniewicz was found passed out in his pickup truck along a local highway, with the engine running and his foot on the gas pedal, according to a sheriff's incident report attached to his personnel records. The report quoted a Lake County deputy as saying "this was not the first time something like this has happened."

Otherwise, for the most part, Gliniewicz's record is filled with impressive reviews and commendations for about the first 15 years of his career.

Beloved Police Officer 'Was Not What He Seemed'

In about 2000, the favorable citations dry up, although it should be noted that the file has several long gaps during which similar notices could have been entered.

It's about that time, however, that a string of serious incidents began to happen.

Related: Fox Lake Lt. Joseph Gliniewicz Committed Suicide: Illinois Police

NBC Chicago reported that in a 2003 complaint — which a judge dismissed in 2005 — a female Fox Lake officer alleged that Gliniewicz called her to meet him in a hotel room on Valentine's Day 2000.

When she arrived, Gliniewicz gave her a box of chocolates, rubbed her shoulders and pressured her to perform oral sex, according to the complaint, which said Gliniewicz was her commanding officer at the time.

Attorneys for the city denied in court papers that the female officer was ever forced to do anything she didn't want to, but Gliniewicz was suspended for a month.

In 2002, Gliniewicz's position as commander of support services was abolished, effective the following year, because of "the recent course of events concerning you and the problems in the Communications Division." Those events aren't described.

A year later, in April 2003, a dispatcher, whose name has been redacted, filed a memo alleging that Gliniewicz made remarks "regarding putting 'bullets in my chest'" and saying no one would find her body because "there are a lot of lakes around here."

The dispatcher added that she knew that "Commander Gliniewicz was only joking with me at the time and would never harm me" — although "I don't think law enforcement officials should joke about misusing firearms," she said.

Later in April 2003, however, the same dispatcher filed a second memo. This one complained that Gliniewicz had pulled and appeared to have cocked his service weapon while they were in the radio room together.

"I felt very uncomfortable and thought maybe he was trying to intimidate me," she wrote. "Why does he do this after his recent comment about putting 'bullets in my chest'?"

NBC Chicago: Fox Lake Officer's Wife, Son Under Criminal Investigation: Source

Gliniewicz responded in a memo that he should have better documented the encounters to assist the dispatcher with getting "professional help."

Police: 'We Took (False Report) Very Seriously'


Some of the most serious accusations are detailed in a stunning letter that members of the Fox Lake Police Department anonymously sent to then-Mayor Cindy Irwin in February 2009. The letter outlines almost two pages of complaints about the lieutenant, who they said had sent "morale within the department [to] an all-time low."

According to the letter, Gliniewicz had been suspended six times for "an inappropriate sexual relationship with a subordinate." It says officers often were warned by suspects whom they'd arrested that they should drop the arrests because they were "friends with Joey," referring to Gliniewicz, the letter said.

The letter goes on to accuse Gliniewicz of having:

  • Grabbed women's breasts at more than one department Christmas party.
  • Confronted officers in public about reports in their own files, apparently in violation of privacy regulations.
  • Been thrown out of local bars by bouncers.
  • Repeatedly visited "establishments within the village" with a woman who wasn't his wife.
  • Walked out on a $300 bar tab.
  • Used his squad car for personal errands — including once having driven his family to Wisconsin on vacation.
  • Allowed civilians to fill their cars at the police gas station.

The anonymous police employees said Gliniewicz's behavior had "destroyed morale within the department and affected everyone's attitude." Gliniewicz's personnel file doesn't indicate whether any action was taken on his colleagues' letter.

Thursday, Fox Lake Mayor Donny Schmidt asked the community to wait for the results of the full investigation before jumping to conclusions. But he said it was clear that "the person that I thought I knew for 30 years had another side I wasn't aware of."

RELATED GALLERY: See photos from the funeral for Gliniewicz:

9 PHOTOS
Illinois cop funeral Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz
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Colleagues accused crooked cop who killed himself of years of misconduct: Records
Jeff Jacobs of the Illinois State Police and Leroy Pugesek of the Lake County Sheriff's Office hug outside the funeral of slain Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz at Antioch Community High School on Monday, Sept. 7, 2015 in Antioch, Ill. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
Covered in an American flag, the casket of slain Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz arrives at Antioch Community High School on Monday, Sept. 7, 2015 in Antioch, Ill. The man in the maroon beret is Lt. Gliniewicz's son. Thousands of police officers and residents are expected to attend his funeral later this morning at the school. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
Hundreds of people get in line to pay their respects to slain Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz at Antioch Community High School on Monday, Sept. 7, 2015 in Antioch, Ill. Thousands of police officers and residents are expected to attend Gliniewicz's visitation and funeral today. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
Ron Flug, foreground, ride captain of the Patriot Guards leads the group to Antioch High School for the funeral of Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz on Monday, Sept. 7, 2015 in Antioch, Ill. (Brian Nguyen/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
Law enforcement officers salute the casket of Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz as it is wheeled into Antioch Community High School on Monday, Sept. 7, 2015 in Antioch, Ill. (Brian Nguyen/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
Covered in an American flag, the casket of slain Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz arrives at Antioch Community High School on Monday, Sept. 7, 2015 in Antioch, Ill. Thousands of police officers and residents are expected to attend his funeral later this morning at the school. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
A memorial is in place at the Fox Lake Police Department on Sept. 2, 2015 in Fox Lake, Ill. Police are searching for a second day to locate three suspects in the killing of Fox Lake Lt. Charles Joseph 'G.I. Joe' Gliniewicz. (Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
Tara England of Ingleside and her 11 year-old son pray in front of the memorial for slain Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph 'G.I. Joe' Gliniewicz on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015 in Fox Lake, Ill. Three suspects still remain at large and a manhunt is underway in the area. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
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