Fox Lake Village Administrator Anne Marrin on Thursday said she felt "unsettled" after police revealed the now-disgraced police officer whose death was ruled a suicide Wednesday tried to hire a hit-man to kill her.
"It's a very scary thought that an officer who was sworn to uphold the law would even think to do that to an administrator," she said.
Det. Chris Covelli with the Lake County Sheriff's office claimed earlier in the day that Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz sent a text message asking someone to contact a "high-ranking gang member to put a hit on the village manager." Gliniewicz also suggested the hit man could "plant something" on the manager, Covelli said.
"The tone of those text messages was to contact a high-level motorcycle gang member," Covelli said.
The person Gliniewicz texted told investigators the late officer indeed asked for a hit man to kill the village administrator, but the alleged motorcycle gang member denied any knowledge of the request.
Small packages of cocaine were also found in Gliniewicz's desk, Covelli said. The cocaine was in an unmarked evidence bag that was not associated with any case, but Covelli added it wasn't clear if the cocaine was related to the alleged plot to have the village administrator killed.
"That was a theory we looked at, nothing we can prove," he said.
"It's very unsettling," Marrin said. "It's quite unbelievable and almost surreal."
Marrin was looking into Fox Lake's finances, including the Police Explorers program, which authorities allege Gliniewicz embezzled from for the past seven years.
Marrin said "there were a lot of red flags" that came up while she pressed Gliniewicz for details on the Explorer program, a process that began in March and continued until the morning before his September death.
"When I heard that he was concerned that I was asking tough questions about the police explorer program, it only confirmed to me that asking the tough questions was the absolute right thing to do," she said. "In fact, getting at the truth about the administration of the explorer's program was the only thing that had to be done."
The news, first reported by the Associated Press, comes one day after officials announced that a months-long investigation into Gliniewicz's fatal shooting had determined the officer's death, which rocked the small community about 60 miles north of Chicago and prompted a massive manhunt, was a "carefully staged suicide" and "the end result of extensive criminal acts."
Lake County Major Crimes Task Force Commander George Filenko revealed that Gliniewicz had been stealing and laundering money from the Fox Lake Police Explorer Post for seven years, using thousands of dollars for personal purchases, mortgages, travel expenses, gym memberships, adult websites and to facilitate person loans. He also said Gliniewicz forged signatures in official documents.
In total, officials said 6,500 pages of text messages from Gliniewicz's personal and work phones were reviewed during the investigation.
The text messages reveal that Marrin loomed large in Gliniewicz’s fears.
"She hates me," he texted someone identified only as "Individual 2," who suggested, "Hopefully she decides to get a couple of drinks in her and she gets a DUI."
"Trust me," Gliniewicz replied. "I’ve thought it through. Many scenarios, from planting things, to the Volo bog."
Marrin noted that her limited interactions with Gliniewicz, while brief, were always "pleasant."
"We never fought, there were never harsh words," she said.
She said she last received an email from Gliniewicz the morning before his suicide.
"The news that Gliniewicz engaged in the same criminal activity that he swore to combat, while shocking, is not at all surprising," Marrin said. "But his conduct should not reflect on the men and women who wear the same uniform and serve their communities daily, faithfully and with integrity."
Marrin said two Fox Lake officers have volunteered to take over the Police Explorer's program and the program will continue, along with her audit.
"It’s been very scary, it’s been surreal, but I have been tasked to do a job and I have to see this through and that is my plan," she said.
Gliniewicz's wife and son are also under investigation in the case, a source close to the investigation told NBC5 News. No charges had been filed as of Thursday morning.