Former Chicago Alderman Proco “Joe” Moreno was behind the wheel of a car that struck a series of vehicles parked along a Gold Coast street and then crashed into a tree Sunday evening, according to CPD.
CWBChicago was first to report that a 2017 Audi that struck at least nine parked cars on the 1500 to 1200 blocks of North Astor is registered to Moreno. Now, prosecutors have filed several misdemeanor charges against him, including DUI.
Moreno is charged with driving under the influence, reckless driving, and multiple counts of failure to report a collision.
A police department source said Moreno had a blood alcohol content of .329 —more than four times the legal limit. Another source said an undercover CPD unit saw Moreno trying to dislodge his car from a planter after it crashed and became trapped near the intersection of Division and Astor streets around 9:20 p.m. Those undercover cops reportedly kept an eye on Moreno until patrol units arrived to handle the situation.
An ambulance took Moreno to Northwestern Memorial Hospital for minor injuries.
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzer is among the prominent Chicagoans who live along the three-block stretch of Astor Street where damaged cars were found.
The Chicago Tribune reports that the damaged cars include “a Lexus RX, a Volkswagen Jetta, a Mitsubishi Mirage, a Honda Pilot and a Jeep Cherokee.”
A rough road
Last year, prosecutors charged Moreno with felony filing of a false report after he told police that someone stole his Audi from the garage of his Wicker Park home. In fact, police discovered he loaned the car to a female friend. Moreno is also accused of insurance fraud in that case as he allegedly tried to collect payment for the “stolen” car.
Moreno has pleaded not guilty to all charges, and the criminal case is still working its way through the court system.
A woman who was arrested and briefly charged with driving the “stolen” Audi that Moreno loaned to her is suing Moreno for defamation.
In 2018, another woman told police Moreno flashed a badge to intimidate her during a parking dispute in Wrigleyville.
The woman said she had just backed into a parking spot when Moreno pulled up next to her in an Audi and flashed a badge that turned out to be the star given to Chicago aldermen, according to a Block Club Chicago report.
“I never said I was a police officer or anything like that,” Moreno told the Tribune at the time. “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.”