CHICAGO (WLS) -- After spending the night in a police lockup, Alderman Proco "Joe" Moreno was released Wednesday on his own recognizance following his arrest on charges he committed insurance fraud and obstruction of justice for allegedly falsely reporting his car had been stolen in January.
The judge said that if allegations against him are true, then Moreno had a terrible lapse in judgement.
"The appropriate bond was set. It is an I-bond. He has strong ties to the community. He has no prior offenses," said Camilo Oceguera, Moreno's defense attorney.
Moreno turned himself in to authorities Tuesday night after an arrest warrant was issued for him. The politician's arrest is the latest in a bizarre set of circumstances which investigators say began on Janaury 4, when Moreno told police he returned from a trip only to find his black 2016 Audi A6 missing from the garage of his Wicker Park home.
During a bond hearing Wednesday afternoon, prosecutors said after Moreno told officers no one else had access to the vehicle he leased, the 47-year-old proceeded to file a false claim with his insurance company only hours after knowingly loaning the car to his on-again, off-again girlfriend.
That woman was initially arrested by Chicago police during the early morning hours of February 4 when she was pulled over while driving the car.
"Moreno admitted in a television news interview that he had provided the vehicle to someone that he had a relationship, which was diametrically opposed to his claims to OEMC and this insurance carrier," said Assistant Cook County State's Attorney Thomas Simpson.
The charges were eventually dropped against the woman, who refused to comment when contacted by ABC7.
Moreno's term as alderman ends on Monday after he lost his bid for re-election to newcomer Daniel LaSpata.
Alderman Proco 'Joe' Moreno charged with insurance fraud, obstruction of justice