Alderman Ricardo Munoz's wife has accused him of physical abuse. Now, she predicts he won't succeed at rehab.
“I wish him well. I hope that this rehab stint will help him. I don’t think it will,” said Betty Torres-Munoz.
The 22nd Ward alderman and his wife were back in court Wednesday on charges that he struck her after a day of drinking.
Alderman Munoz gave a thumbs up but did not answer questions as he left domestic violence court. Munoz has been staying in Indiana at an inpatient residential rehab program. His attorney won't say why, but the alderman has struggled with alcoholism in the past.
“He's in a counseling program and he got permission from the judge to continue in the program,” said defense attorney Richard Kling.
It's been almost three weeks since Munoz was charged with misdemeanor domestic battery for allegedly shoving his wife after a heated argument on New Year's Eve. She also claimed he'd been drinking all day before the incident. She was asked whether she still loves him.
“Do I love him? I have, I always loved him. Absolutely. Have. I loved him through this turmoil, through his addictions, multiple addictions, through the womanizing, the cheating, everything,” Betty said.
In court, the alderman requested that his wife allow him to use their SUV, but then withdrew the request when prosecutors said it was his wife's only working vehicle.
“No I'm not surprised because that's his baby and that's what he chauffeurs his women in, where I found some of the stuff from the women. In that vehicle,” Betty said.
The alderman's attorney would not discuss the specific allegations in the case.
“It's hard. He's charged with a case, he's in the media, you folks are covering it, and he's doing the best he can,” Kling said.
Alderman Munoz is expected to spend about three to four weeks in rehab in Indiana. He's retiring from the City Council when his term ends in May.