Ald. Ricardo Munoz cleared to move back home after domestic battery charge

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Ald. Ricardo Munoz (22nd) leaves court in January after pleading not guilty to a misdemeanor domestic battery charge involving his wife. | Andy Grimm for the Sun-Times

Ald. Ricardo Munoz, charged with misdemeanor domestic battery, may return to the family’s home.

An agreement allowing Munoz to move back in with his wife, Betty Torres-Munoz, at their Little Village home was approved Wednesday by a Cook County judge.

Munoz, who did not seek re-election to his 22nd Ward seat on Tuesday, has been living with a relative in Carol Stream and is in counseling for alcoholism. Munoz refused to say whether he would, in fact, move back in with his wife.

In January, Torres-Munoz filed a petition for an order of protection saying she and her husband “engaged in a [heated] argument” and that Munoz “forcibly” grabbed her and pushed her backward, causing her to hit her back and head, and twist her arm.

In the filing, and later in response to questions from reporters who surrounded her as she left the courthouse after a hearing last month, Torres-Munoz said her husband had been abusive previously, and she accused him of being an “addict” and a “womanizer.”

Last month she told reporters: “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.”

Before the court hearing Wednesday, Torres-Munoz — who wants to reconcile and asked for the order of protection to be modified so the pair could once again be together — handed her husband belated birthday and Valentine’s Day cards.

She also offered a different account of the night that caused her to call police.

“He got upset and he grabbed me and when he let me go I lost my balance and, based on where I was standing, I fell,” she said.

“He is absolutely not a wife beater … never was,” she said, telling reporters she wanted to set the record straight.

“In a fit of alcoholism that evening he got upset with me because I hid the car keys to prevent him from going out and getting into an accident,” she said.

“I don’t think there was anything malicious, that’s just the way it happened.”

Munoz is due back in court March 20.

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