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Former 22nd Ward Alderman gets 13-month sentence after guilty plea

Munoz pleaded guilty in September to wire fraud and money laundering while chairman and treasurer of the Progressive Reform Caucus. He used the money for personal expenses, including a family member’s college tuition, jewelry, clothing, and vacations.

Former 6-term 22nd Ward Alderman Ricardo Munoz was sentenced Thursday after guilty plea to spending cash from political funds on personal expenses.

CHICAGO (AP) — A former Chicago alderman has been sentenced to 13 months in prison after pleading guilty to spending cash from a political fund on vacations, jewelry and other personal expenses.



Before he sentenced Ricardo Munoz on Thursday, U.S. District Judge John Kness told the former six-term 22nd Ward alderman that if he allowed him to avoid prison, the community “would draw the wrong message, and a negative message.”

“People need to get the message that public figures are held to a higher standard. And if you didn’t want to be held to a higher standard, you shouldn’t run six times for alderman,” Kness added.

Munoz pleaded guilty in September to wire fraud and money laundering, admitting to stealing nearly $38,000 from the Progressive Reform Caucus, for which he served as chairman and performed the duties of its treasurer. He used the money for personal expenses, including a family member’s college tuition, jewelry, clothing, and vacations.



Prosecutors filed a motion in December asking that Munoz serve a one-year prison sentence.[1]

A lawyer for Munoz, Richard Kling, noted in court that Munoz had paid back all but $6,891 of the stolen funds, which the judge ordered him to pay in restitution.

Munoz, who announced his retirement from the City Council in 2018, is the latest in a long line of Chicago City Council members convicted of federal crimes.

Patrick Daley Thompson, a grandson and nephew of Chicago’s two longest-serving mayors, was convicted by a federal jury last month of tax crimes and making false statements.[2] The conviction cost Thompson, who is set for sentencing on July 6, his seat on the council.

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Notes & References


  1. “Prosecutors Want 1-Year Sentence for Former Chicago Alderman.” AP NEWS. Associated Press, December 23, 2021. https://apnews.com/article/crime-chicago-a77ba22943f0ee4d63f84c26177383df. ↩︎

  2. Press, Associated. “Jury Convicts ALD. Patrick Daley Thompson of Tax Crimes and Fraudulent Statements.” Chicago Journal. Chicago Journal, February 15, 2022. https://www.chicagojournal.com/jury-convicts-ald-patrick-daley-thompson-of-tax-crimes-and-fraudulent-statements/. ↩︎

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