CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago police are opening a new investigation into whether Ald. Joe Moreno (1st) filed a false police report about a stolen car.
It’s the same car he apparently told a girlfriend she was allowed to drive. That report led to the woman’s arrest.
CBS 2 political reporter Derrick Blakley talked with her.
Liliya Hrabar said what happened between her and Ald. Joe Moreno was a miscommunication but also said she’s consulting an attorney. She said “he was so nice and polite to me to help by giving me his car. I didn’t expect to get arrested.”
Moreno reported his 2016 Audi stolen last month. Hrabar was charged with criminal trespass and sent to jail overnight after she was seen driving it Sunday.
Monday night, Moreno brushed off the incident.
“She’s a friend of mine. We dated for awhile. She’s a single mom. I was trying to help out. She was down on her luck and needed a car,” said Moreno.
A text message provided by Hrabar said Moreno told her “meet me at my house at 11:00. You can have my car.”
Moreno admitted he reported the car stolen.
“We were having a miscommunication about when she needed to return it,” said Moreno.
But Moreno’s election opponent called this the latest in long string of troubling incidents.
“They do not speak to the kind of dignity and respect and integrity that 1st Ward residents are really calling for from their leadership,” said aldermanic candidate Daniel La Spata.
Moreno’s name also came up in the federal investigation of Ald. Danny Solis.
In a recorded cellphone conversation, power broker Victor Reyes mentions Moreno as one of several aldermen who steer business to him. It’s something Moreno admits, while denying wrongdoing.
Neither Moreno nor Solis have been charged.
“You are not going to get a dime out of this building,” said Moreno back in 2017 when Moreno had a recorded standoff with building owner Brian Strauss after Moreno objected to Strauss evicting the Double Door nightclub, a Moreno campaign donor, and then down-zoned the building.
“It’s going to be an empty building with no income for you or your family. End of conversation,” said Moreno.
“It looked like an attempt to punish for someone for a decision he disagreed with. And that’s not how zoning is supposed to work,” said La Spata.
As for her criminal trespass car arrest, Hrabar said “I can only say it was a shock to me.”
The state’s attorney has dropped the misdemeanor criminal trespass charge against Hrabar. She said she intends to meet with an attorney but also expects to meet with Moreno as well.
And law enforcement sources indicate it was Moreno’s own words about the car not really having been stolen at all that led them to open the false police report investigation.