ROUND LAKE BEACH, Ill. (AP) — Authorities say an Illinois police officer who killed himself in what they say was an elaborately staged suicide embezzled money from a police program for seven years.

Lake County Major Crimes Task Force Commander George Filenko led the investigation into the Sept. 1 shooting death of Fox Lake police Lieutenant Charles Joseph Gliniewicz.

Filenko said Wednesday that Gliniewicz had been stealing and laundering money from the Fox Lake police explorers club, which he oversaw. He says Gliniewicz spent thousands of dollars of the money to pay for personal purchases, mortgage payments and travel, among other things.

On the day he died, Gliniewicz radioed that he was chasing three suspicious men. His death led to a large manhunt, but no arrests were made.

Authorities are defending the time it took to conclude that an Illinois police officer killed himself and was not killed by others.

Lake County Major Crimes Task Force Commander George Filenko told reporters Wednesday that police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz elaborately staged a crime scene, scattering his pepper spray, baton and other equipment before shooting himself twice.

Lake County Sheriff's Office spokesman Christopher Covelli added that investigators had to filter through thousands of pages of financial documents, 6,500 pages of text messages and 40,000 emails.

Filenko said detectives wanted to be certain before releasing a definitive conclusion and that they only arrived at that point about a week and a half ago.
He said, "We don't jump to conclusions. We go where the facts lead us."