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Judge Allows Ald. Ricardo Munoz To Return Home; Wife Reportedly Wants To Reconcile After Alleged Attack

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Nearly two months after he was charged with hitting his wife, Ald. Ricardo Munoz (22nd) has been allowed to return home, after his wife reportedly announced she wants to reconcile with him.

Cook County prosecutors confirmed Judge Callie Lynn Baird modified an order of protection she issued in the case, so that Munoz can have contact with his wife.

Munoz was arrested on Jan. 2 on a misdemeanor charge of domestic battery. Police said he got into an argument with his wife on New Year's Eve, and shoved and hit her.

The alderman pleaded not guilty and posted bail one day later, but was placed under a protective order requiring him to stay away from his wife, Betty Torres Munoz; their home; the family dog, Rambo; and his wife's workplace at the Cook County Building at 118 N. Clark St.

After amending that protective order to allow Munoz to return home, the judge set his next court date for March 20.

The Chicago Tribune reports, after Wednesday's hearing, Betty Torres Munoz said she wants to reconcile with her husband, calling him a "really good man" dealing with alcohol addiction.

After Munoz was arrested, his wife said the abuse has been going on for years, and she has been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result.

"I've been with this man for 34 years, 30 years of marriage. I wish the very best. I have a lot of compassion. This has been going on a long time. Addiction, cheating - everything that goes with it. I didn't come forward because of his public image and I didn't want this. I'm entitled to my privacy. I finally came forward because I need a new life," she said in January.

The alderman has admitted to being a recovering alcoholic. Munoz, who has been alderman of the 22nd Ward since 1993, is retiring at the end of his term in May.

Three weeks after Munoz's arrest, the judge authorized the alderman to travel to Indiana for counseling while he is out on bond. Normally, criminal defendants are not allowed to leave the state while free on bail.

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