Susana Mendoza claims no knowledge she was headline guest for Alderman Moreno fundraiser

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Susana Mendoza is trying to distance herself from 1st Ward Alderman Proco Joe Moreno after it appears Moreno may have been trying to help his own reelection campaign by advertising a fundraiser listing Mendoza as a special guest.

The problem is she said she never planned to be there

Wednesday morning Mendoza laid out her transportation plan, in which she called for more bus lanes and making a 10 minute walk the farthest Chicagoans would have to go to use public transportation. But her campaign hit a pothole because of her connection to Moreno.

His campaign touted Mendoza as the "honored guest" for a February 20 fundraiser, a notice circulated by Toni Preckwinkle's campaign.

"I guess I was not aware of that, I know I'm gonna be in Springfield that day, isn't that the day of the budget address or something, yeah, I'm gonna be in Springfield," Mendoza said.

Moreno is now dealing with his second scandal this week. The first involved a car he loaned to Liliya Hrabar, a Des Plains woman who said they have dated on and off since September.

Chicago police are now investigating whether Moreno filed a false report when he told police recently the car was stolen, a month after loaning it to Hrabar. She told ABC7 they were in regular contact during that time and she planned to meet with Moreno Wednesday to get to the bottom of things. He did not answer repeated requests for comment.

Mendoza and Moreno had also dated, about 10 years ago. When she announced her run for mayor in November he was very supportive.

"Susana's got tenacity, the energy, the ability to cross over, get different constituencies, and the fundraising prowess," Moreno said on November 14.

Meanwhile, Mendoza tried to distance herself from Moreno. She also downplayed $50,000 her campaign loaned to his campaign back in 2008 when he was first running for office.

"I've always supported candidates you know who want to run for office, here and there in different ways, I think that's a good thing and I'm always gonna be somebody who tries to help people up the ladder. So if people seek my support, that's a good thing. But you want to focus on the past, I really want to focus on the future," Mendoza told reporters.

The organizer of the February 20 fundraiser did not respond to requests for an explanation.
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