Chicago, IL – The wife of an alderman who checked himself into rehab last Wednesday, after he was arrested for attacking her, said she’s afraid of her husband’s gang connections.
Betty Torres-Munoz has been married to the 22nd Ward’s Alderman Ricardo Munoz for 30 years, and together with him for 34, according to WLS.
Betty told police that the couple had a heated argument on New Year’s Eve, and Munoz grabbed her and pushed her, and twisted her arm.
When he pushed her, she hit her back and head, according to the petition filed at the courthouse.
In her petition to the court, the alderman’s wife asked for a protection order to keep her husband away from her, their home, and their 16-year-old dog, and said she was afraid of her husband’s criminal associates.
“Ricardo has connections [with] local gangs [and] individuals with criminal pasts who… have threatened my family in the past,” Betty wrote, according to the Chicago Sun Times.
The alderman, who is not running for re-election, has been open about his checkered past and former ties to gangs in Chicago’s Little Village.
He has also had inpatient treatment before for an alcohol problem, the Chicago Sun Times reported.
"It has taken me a lot of courage to get to this point, trying to diminish the shame of living with an addict, a womanizer. I suffer from PSTD from the abuse. I have been hospitalized numerous times," Betty told reporters outside the courthouse.
Her petition to the court also sought to block Munoz from accessing the couple’s bank accounts, and said he had already spent thousands of dollars on his “addiction, whores, hotels, travel” and Viagra.
"I didn't come forward sooner because of his public image and I didn't want this because I am entitled to my privacy," Betty said, according to WLS.
Munoz pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor battery charge and was released on a $2,500 bond on Jan. 3. He is due to appear in court again on Jan. 23.
All four candidates who are running to represent the 22nd Ward when Munoz retires called for his immediate resignation in the wake of the domestic violence charges.
"As a woman who has experienced domestic violence, this is an issue that is very close and dear to my heart," said Liz Lopez, the only female candidate.
They held a press conference in front of the alderman’s office on Jan. 9 and demanded that he step down, WLS reported.
"His conduct doesn't reflect the values of the office which he represents," candidate Richard Juarez told reporters.
The candidate whom Munoz had endorsed for the seat he was vacating – Michael Rodriguez – announced he would be returning Munoz’s $1,500 contribution to his campaign, according to WLS.