CHICAGO (CBS) -- A Cook County judge on Wednesday authorized Ald. Ricardo Munoz (22nd) to travel to Indiana for counseling while he is out on bail on charges accusing him of pushing and hitting his wife.
Munoz, who is retiring at the end of his term this spring, was arrested earlier this month and charged with a misdemeanor count of domestic battery.
At a hearing at Domestic Violence Court on Wednesday, a judge granted his request to be able to leave the state to attend a counseling program in Indiana.
Meantime, the alderman will remain 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. Munoz can only enter adjacent City Hall through the LaSalle Street entrance.
Munoz has pleaded not guilty, and is due back in court on Feb. 27.
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.
The alderman has admitted to being a recovering alcoholic. Munoz, who has been alderman of the 22nd Ward since 1993, is not running for re-election this year. Four candidates are running to replace him on the City Council.
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