Melodie Gliniewicz, wife of officer who shot himself to cover up crimes, back in court Monday

One of the Chicago area's most bizarre criminal cases was back in court on Monday.

Melodie Gliniewicz, widow of Fox Lake police Lt. Joe Gliniewicz, was in Lake County Court in Waukegan for a pre-trial hearing on charges of money laundering and misuse of charitable funds.

The Gliniewicz case riveted the Chicago area for weeks back in 2015. It started when Lt. Gliniewicz was found fatally shot; his last radio transmission blamed two men and a manhunt was launched. 

The department helped give Gliniewicz a hero's funeral, and then, police revealed that Gliniewicz had shot himself. He had actually been under investigation for embezzling money from the Fox Lake Police Explorer program, which helped young people who were interested in a career in law enforcement. 

The fallout was huge. Melodie Gliniewicz was arrested and charged with helping her husband and blowing thousands of stolen dollars on a vacation, movie tickets and restaurant meals. More than a hundred thousand dollars that had been raised to help her family was returned to donors. And two men who were arrested after Gliniewicz was shot filed lawsuits

Monday's hearing focused on former Fox Lake Village Administrator Anne Marrin, who investigated Lt. Gliniewicz's handling of the Explorer program's money. Melodie Gliniewicz's attorneys are arguing that prosecutors withheld information about why Marrin was forced out later.

On Monday, Fox Lake Mayor Donnie Schmidt testified that Marrin was fired for not following orders and using inappropriate language with employees and trustees. She was not fired, he said, for anything to do with the Gliniewicz case.

Melodie Gliniewicz's criminal trial is scheduled to start in February.