CHICAGO — Longtime Alderman Ricardo Muñoz (D-22nd Ward) pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence charges during a hearing Thursday morning in Chicago.
Officers responded to an incident involving Muñoz and his wife Betty on New Year's Eve, police confirm, saying the two were in a verbal argument when Muñoz allegedly pushed and struck her. She called the police, and he was taken into custody Wednesday at his aldermanic office in Little Village.
Muñoz pleaded not guilty before posting $250 bail Thursday, and will need to return to court January 23. Records show his wife was also granted an order of protection against him in Cook County Domestic Violence Court Wednesday, and a judge upheld it Thursday. Muñoz is not allowed to have any contact with his wife or their dog as the incident is under investigation.
"This has been going on for a long time. I didn't want come forward sooner because of his public image," she said. "I finally came forward because I need a new life - I can't go through this any more."
While he previously indicated he won't seek re-election, Muñoz hasn't made a public comment on his arrest. His lawyer says he still hasn't seen the discovery, and has nothing to say until he does.