LOGAN SQUARE — Former Ald. Proco Joe Moreno was released from jail on drunken driving charges Friday under the condition he undergoes substance use treatment, among other stipulations laid out in court.
Cook County Judge William Hooks on Friday set Moreno’s bond at $5,000, meaning Moreno had to pay $500 to be released. He left Cook County Jail on Friday afternoon after being detained for one week.
Hooks sent Moreno to jail last week, calling him “an extreme danger to the community.” Police and prosecutors allege the 48-year-old drunkenly slammed into eight parked cars in the Gold Coast neighborhood Dec. 27, while he was out on bond for an unrelated fraud case.
Moreno’s blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit at the time of the crash, according to Tom Simpson, Cook County assistant state’s attorney.
Hooks said Friday he would give Moreno’s attorneys about a month to come up with a treatment plan. Moreno was already receiving substance use treatment before the crash, but now that — and testing — will be mandated by the judge.
“No more surprises, Mr. Moreno. No more cars, no more surprises with the accidents,” Hooks said.
Moreno, clad in an orange jumpsuit, said, “Absolutely not.”
“I don’t want to see any more involvement with the criminal justice system that would put the community in danger or yourself in danger,” Hooks said. “If you’ve got family still living, I don’t think they want to be going to a service, where you’re lying in a box in the ground.”
Hooks also set a curfew of 7 a.m. – 9 p.m for the former alderman. The judge is not requiring Moreno to be on electronic monitoring.
In addition to attorney Travis Richardson, Moreno is also being represented by Ald. Howard Brookins Jr. (21st).
Moreno was charged with DUI and reckless driving following the crash. The former alderman, voted out of City Council in 2019, already is facing other charges of insurance fraud and obstruction of justice for falsely reporting his Audi stolen.
Police and prosecutors have alleged Moreno let a woman he was dating get arrested in the luxury car he loaned her after falsely reporting the car was stolen from his garage.
In that case, Moreno was released from jail on his own recognizance. The same Audi at issue in the fraud case is the car authorities say Moreno was driving in the Dec. 27 crash.
In setting Moreno’s bond on Friday, Hooks called said it was a “miracle” no one was injured.
“I’ve learned a lot,” Moreno said in court. “The guards and the employees — they’ve got a tough job and I respect them thoroughly more now for what they do every day.”
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