Chicago Ald. Ricardo Munoz Checks Into Rehab in Indiana

Chicago Ald. Ricardo Munoz checked into rehab in Indiana days after being charged with beating his wife.

Munoz told Politico he has no intention of stepping down, and that his office is open and functioning.

He already announced last summer that he wouldn't run again. Before that, he went public with his struggles with alcohol.

Candidates vying for his seat are calling on him to resign now.

A judge set  Munoz's bond at $2,500 Thursday and granted his wife an order of protection against him after the alderman was charged with domestic battery. 

Munoz was arrested Wednesday in connection with a domestic violence incident that took place on New Year's Eve, according to police. He then spent the night in jail, which is legally required for anyone charged with battery to do before seeing a judge.

The Cook County State's Attorney's Office said Munoz - who has represented the 22nd Ward since 1993 - was charged with misdemeanor domestic battery.

The long-serving member of the Chicago City Council was taken into police custody after an argument with his wife in which police said Munoz "pushed and struck the victim throughout the body."

Munoz was arrested last week without incident at his ward office in the 2500 block of South St. Louis in the Little Village neighborhood, authorities said.

His wife asked the judge to order Munoz to stay away from their residence and their dog Rambo, a request the judge granted. Munoz will only be able to go home to get his belongings, and must be escorted by a Chicago police officer. 

The next hearing in Munoz's case was scheduled to take place on Jan. 23. An attorney for Munoz declined to comment on the case.

This is not Munoz's first brush with the law. He has publicly spoken about his arrest as a teenager on drug and gun charges, which were later expunged. Now sober, Munoz has also opened up about his addiction to alcohol.

Munoz announced this summer he would not run for re-election and opened the door on a possible run for mayor in the future.

“I’m only 53, I can run for mayor in 2023 if I want to,” he said during an exclusive interview at the time.

Sworn into office in 1993, Munoz was appointed alderman by then mayor Richard Daley to replace Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, who moved on to the Illinois State Senate.

Four candidates are on the ballot to replace him in the February elections.

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