Wicker Park alderman in custody to charges related to false police report

Moreno | Ward 1

Update 7:37AM — Chicago police have just announced that Moreno is charged with felony insurance fraud and felony obstruction of justice by destroying evidence.
Outgoing First Ward Alderman Proco “Joe” Moreno was taken into custody by Chicago police Tuesday evening on an arrest warrant, according to a CPD spokesperson.

Moreno was “brought in” to Area North police headquarters at Belmont and Western, according to a CWBChicago source. Police would not immediately confirm if Moreno had surrendered or if officers arrested him at another location.

We broke the story last night on Twitter.

The 46-year-old alderman has been under investigation by Chicago police for filing a false police report on Jan. 4th in which he claimed that his 2016 Audi A6 was stolen from his home in the 1300 block of North Leavitt. Moreno allegedly told police that he did not know where the car had gone, that he still had the keys, and that no one had permission to have his vehicle.

Joe Moreno and Liliya Hrabar seen in WGN’s stolen car exposé. | WGN

One month later, cops pulled over Moreno’s allegedly stolen vehicle as it was being driven by 35-year-old Liliya Hrabar in the 4800 block of West Armitage around 3 a.m. on Feb. 4th. Hrabar was detained and briefly charged with criminal trespass to a vehicle until police learned that Moreno had given her permission to use the car.

Later the same day, WGN-TV broke the story. Moreno described Hrabar as an ex-girlfriend and admitted that he willingly loaned the vehicle to her. The whole thing, he said, was “a miscommunication.” But text messages secured by reporter Meghan Dwyer for the ‘GN story seemed to indicate that Moreno knew exactly where his car was.

Prosecutors immediately dropped the charges against Hrabar and police launched the investigation into Moreno’s stolen car report.

A Chicago police spokesperson as recently as April 22nd told CWBChicago that the investigation into the stolen car report was “ongoing.”

Last year, a separate CPD investigation was launched to determine if Moreno impersonated a police officer when he flashed his Alderman badge during a confrontation with a woman over a parking space in the 3300 block of North Clark in Lakeview. The outcome of that probe is not known.

Moreno lost his re-election bid in February. He is due in bond court this afternoon.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com