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Lakeview, Wrigleyville, Northalsted

Did Alderman Moreno Impersonate A Cop Last Weekend? Police Investigate

After asking a woman to move her car, the alderman allegedly flashed a "badge" before saying, "You better pay your parking tickets! This is how we do it in Chicago!"

Former Ald. Joe Moreno (1st) at City Hall.

CHICAGO — Ald. Joe Moreno (1st) is being investigated by the Chicago Police Department for allegedly impersonating a police officer during an encounter with a 33-year-old woman in Lakeview Sunday evening.

The incident happened around 6:30 p.m. in the 3300 block of North Clark Street, according to the Tribune, which obtained the police report.

The woman pulled into a parking spot and Moreno drove up next to her in his black Audi, according to the police report obtained by the Tribune. Moreno then demanded the woman move her car before flashing his City Council badge and saying, “You better pay your parking tickets! This is how we do it in Chicago!” according to the Tribune.

Moreno, who wasn’t immediately available for comment Tuesday afternoon, told the Tribune that he did indeed reprimand the woman for trying to park in a bike lane, but denied that he was acting like a police officer.

“I told her, well, in Chicago, you get a ticket for parking in the bike lane,” Moreno told the Tribune. “I never said I was a police officer or anything like that. I showed her the aldermanic badge simply to give her some encouragement that I knew what I was talking about and she should move closer to the curb.”

He told the Sun-Times that he was prompted to show his badge after the woman was combative with him, saying, “I’m from f—ing Texas. I can do whatever I want.”

This isn’t the first time Moreno has been accused of asserting his authority to those who challenged him. He was caught on video last year threatening the owner of the former Double Door club in Wicker Park. 

“You are not going to get a dime out of this building,” he told former Double Door landlord Brian Strauss in the video, which was later broadcast on CBS. “It’s going to be an empty building with no income for you or your family. End of conversation. You can come back to me on your knees, which is gonna happen.”

A Chicago police spokesman said the department is currently investigating the incident, and has forwarded a copy of the report to the Office of the Inspector General for review.