In September everyone concerned was calling “GI Joe” Joseph Glienwicz a hero who had died in the line of duty while chasing bad guys. Kudos to the Fox Lake authorities for outing one of their own. But the record shows that he should have been encouraged to find a new career years ago.
Alleged good guy Joe didn’t believe in obeying ANY of society’s rules.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
There are also allegations that he talked about shooting a woman police dispatcher, apparently to intimidate her.
This sordid story is being widely covered, including at Time magazine, which offers more details on Gliniewicz’ effort to find a hitman.