COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — Now-former 1st Ward Ald. Proco Joe Moreno has been indicted on felony charges alleging he let a woman he was dating get arrested in the luxury car he loaned her after falsely reporting the car stolen from his garage.
Moreno appeared at the Cook County Criminal Courthouse Tuesday at 26th and California for a brief court hearing before the presiding judge.
During the hearing, which lasted only a few minutes, the judge said Moreno’s next court date is set for June 18. He is scheduled to be arraigned at that hearing, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.
The indictment against the former alderman includes felony charges of insurance fraud, false report of a stolen car, disorderly conduct and obstruction of justice, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.
The 46-year-old, who lost his reelection bid in February amid a string of damaging headlines, was arrested in mid-May.
Prosecutors said Moreno invited a woman he was dating to his home on Jan. 3 and encouraged her to borrow the car. After he saw her off, he even warned her by text message not to smoke in it, prosecutors said at his bond hearing.
The next day, Jan. 4, he reported it stolen in a call to police, prosecutors said.
Even after reporting the car stolen, he made dinner plans with the woman, prosecutors said.
He also filed an insurance claim with State Farm, insisting the car was stolen, prosecutors said. Weeks later, in a follow-up call to State Farm that was recorded, Moreno said he had left his key in the car, and must have either left his garage door open or someone scrambled a signal to open the overhead door automatically, prosecutors said.
Moreno, 46, was ordered released from jail on his own recognizance by Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr. at at his bond court hearing in mid-May. During and after that hearing, Moreno was stoic. He left the courthouse wearing dark sunglasses and didn’t answer any questions from reporters.
Moreno seemed more at ease leaving Tuesday’s hearing, casually chatting with his lawyers. He didn’t answer any questions from reporters.
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