One day after investigators revealed explosive findings that a beloved veteran Illinois police officer had killed himself in a "carefully staged suicide" following years of criminal acts, an official says the officer tried to have a hit man kill a village administrator he feared would discover his crimes.
Det. Chris Covelli with the Lake County Sheriff's office told NBC Chicago 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 motorocycle 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.
Covelli also sent NBC Chicago Facebook messages from April 2 between Gliniewicz and an unknown person (unedited, in their entirety):
JG: Don’t have them anymore… being forced to retire by new village administrator Work life has ben a living HELL the last 2 months
JG: Close to entertaining a meeting with a mutual aquantance of our with the word White in their nickname…
##: Call me ###-###-#### (number withheld)
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.
Anne Marrin, the village administrator, was auditing Fox Lake's finances, including the Police Explorers program, which authorities allege Gliniewicz embezzled from for the past seven years.
Marrin conceded Wednesday she was pressing Gliniewicz for details on the Explorer program, up to the day before his 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."
On June 25, the officer warned Individual 2, "You’re borrowing from that other account. When you get back, you’ll have to start dumping money into that account, or you will be visiting me in jail!"
Then, the next day, Gliniewicz again lamented the village administrator’s scrutiny.
"This situation right here would give her the means to crucify me if it were discovered," he said.
He cautioned his chief on Aug. 31, "She has now demanded a complete inventory of explorer central, and a financial report."
Investigators said Gliniewicz faked his own slaying the following day.
"He’s betrayed the trust of police," Filenko said. "He’s betrayed the trust of his community. It’s the ultimate betrayal."
The news stunned many in the Fox Lake community, where Gliniewicz, affectionately called "G.I. Joe," was instead being dubbed "G.I. Joke." Signs honoring him after his death were defaced with the word "Liar." Still, some residents said they don't believe the claims.
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.