Ald. Munoz faces calls to step down after charge he beat his wife

CHICAGO (Fox 32 News) - A long-serving alderman was charged Wednesday with beating his wife.

Alderman Ricardo Munoz had little to say when leaving the courtroom on Thursday. But his estranged wife came forward to describe what led to the charges.

The alderman has a checkered past. He admitted to gang activity as a teen and an alcohol addiction as an adult. And now, his wife says he beat her on New Year’s Eve.

“It's taken a lot of courage for me to get to this point to try to diminish the shame of living with an addict, a womanizer,” she said.

Betty Munoz says they've been together for 34 years and it hasn't been perfect.

“I didn't come forward sooner because of his public image,” she said. “And I didn't want this because I’m entitled to my privacy.”

Her husband, Alderman Ricardo Munoz, who has served the city's 22nd Ward on the Southwest Side for 25 years, was arrested Wednesday at his ward office.

He pleaded not guilty Thursday morning to a domestic battery charge and is accused of pushing and striking his wife "throughout the body."

The alderman was let go after posting ten percent of his $2500 bond. As he walked away, he promised to speak on Friday.

“We will talk tomorrow, you got enough tape,” he said.

Lawrice Flowers who was locked up with the alderman Wednesday night says Munoz received special treatment.

“They had him in a separate little pin. He was hiding behind a toilet trying not to be seen and when we were sitting on concrete, he was sitting on chairs,” Flowers said.

A judge has ordered Munoz to stay away from his home, his wife's workplace and is not allowed to contact his wife or his dog, Rambo.

“I suffer from PTSD because of the abuse…have been hospitalized numerous times and I wish him the very best, I don't mean an ill will towards him,” Betty Munoz said.

The alderman's days are numbered as an elected official. He is not running for reelection this spring. But he has toyed with the idea of running for mayor.