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Domestic violence judge extends protection order against Ald. Munoz

Video by Mitch Dudek

Ald. Ricardo Munoz appeared in domestic violence court Wednesday where a judge extended an order of protection that prevents him from having contact with his wife.

Munoz faces a misdemeanor domestic violence charge stemming from an alleged New Year’s Eve altercation with his wife, Betty Torres Munoz.

Leaving court, asked if he still loves his wife, Munoz replied: “She’s a good woman.”

Moments later, Torres Munoz also left the building and was told of her husband’s response. “I was a good woman,” she said. “I put up with his bulls—.”

She also said she still loves her husband and wishes him the best.

“I loved him though this turmoil, through his addictions, through the womanizing, the cheating … I have,” she said.

Ald. Ricardo Munoz (22nd). | Sun-Times
Ald. Ricardo Munoz (22nd). | Sun-Times

In recent years, Munoz has admitted to a drinking problem that forced him into inpatient treatment ahead of his 2011 reelection bid.

“I’m doing what’s best for my future, for my life, to try to stay alive,” she said.

Speaking out hasn’t proven to be a popular decision on her block, she said.

“Unfortunately only one of my neighbors has wrapped their arms around me… the rest of the them have given me the side-eyed look, have shaken their heads in disbelief.”

Munoz was arrested Jan. 2 at his 22nd Ward office.

The protective order bars Munoz from contact with his wife or the couple’s 16-year-old dog, and also prevents him from visiting the Little Village home they shared.

Judge Callie Lynn Baird on Wednesday also said Munoz will be allowed to cross state lines into Indiana to receive counseling. Munoz also withdrew his request for possession of a Ford Explorer that his wife has been driving.

“When he was not under his addictions, he was a good man, a smart man — a manipulator, but he tried the best he could,” Torres Munoz said.

She said when things finally reached a tipping point on New Year’s Eve, she threatened to call the police, but her husband didn’t take her seriously.

“The last straw was when he violently grabbed me and pushed me and I hit my head on the staircase. I warned him I’d call the police. He didn’t believe it. And, well, here we are.”

Munoz, who announced in July that he would not seek another term, pleaded not guilty earlier this month and is free on bond.

Since running for alderman as a 27-year-old with a checkered past, Munoz has been open about his former ties to gangs in Little Village, and in 2018, said he was working with Mayor Rahm Emanuel to reform the Chicago Police Department’s practices governing the massive list of names of purportedly gang-affiliated people in a CPD database.

Munoz’s next court date has been set for Feb. 27.