CHICAGO (CBS) — Ald. Proco ‘Joe’ Moreno was released from custody Wednesday afternoon, after making his first court appearance on charges of obstruction of justice and insurance fraud, for allegedly filing a false police report that his car was stolen in January.
Moreno turned himself in Tuesday night, an arrest warrant was issued by Chicago police. During a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse on Wednesday, Cook County prosecutors said Moreno filed a false insurance claim for the car, and his insurance company was prepared to pay him $30,000 for the 2016 Audi sedan until detectives informed them the car had not been stolen.
A judge granted Moreno a $10,000 i-bond, meaning he was being released from custody, and would only have to pay bail if he misses a future required court date. The judge also ordered him to have no contact with any of the witnesses in the case.
In January, Chicago police began investigating the alderman for filing a false police report about a stolen car.
He had reported his Audi stolen in January, and his girlfriend, Lilya Hrabar, later was charged with criminal trespass after she was seen driving it weeks later.
Prosecutors dropped charges against Hrabar the day after her arrest, after Moreno admitted he had let her use the car.
“We were having a miscommunication about when she needed to return it,” Moreno said at the time.
Moreno has been the 1st Ward alderman since 2011. He lost bid for re-election to Danial La Spata in the February election. Moreno’s last day in office will be May 20, when La Spata is sworn in.
Moreno is due back in court next month.