(Lake County, IL) – Melodie Gliniewicz pleaded guilty Friday morning to the felony charge of deceptive practices in a Lake County courtroom. The guilty plea ends six years of court proceedings and renders next week’s trial unnecessary.
Prosecutors stated in court today that while the parties had agreed on the felony charge that Ms. Gliniewicz would plead guilty to, the sentence would need to be determined by the court. Judge James Booras accepted the structure of the plea and set the sentencing date for April 12, 2022.
Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart stated, “We are very pleased that Ms. Gliniewicz is taking legal responsibility for her actions. She deceived the Fox Lake Police Explorer Club and misused their funds. Our lawyers did an excellent job of reaching this negotiation as it foregoes the need for a trial and starts to end a long chapter in this story. The public will be able to learn more about her and her husband’s actions through a public sentencing hearing, at which each side can argue for the appropriate sentence. Her guilt is established, which is the goal of the trial.”
Prosecutors also indicated in court that the deceptive practices count allows the judge to give Gliniewicz a sentence of conditional discharge, probation, or prison. Booras stated that the prosecution would be allowed to offer aggravating evidence while the defense presents mitigating evidence.
Officials further stated that the original indictments carried concurrent sentences, meaning any probation or prison time would have been served concurrently had she been found guilty of more than one count. Finally, prosecutors stated that they had consulted extensively with the Sheriff’s Department and attorneys for the Village of Fox Lake.
Rinehart added, “Throughout Lake County, the public trusts hundreds of individuals to manage millions of dollars in charitable funds. Those who violate this trust by deceiving donors and then using the money for their own purposes are committing felonies and will be prosecuted.”
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