Monday, May 15, 2017

Political Operative Found Dead Inside Van Emblazoned With 1st Ward Alderman’s Name; Suicide Suspected

Muntaner's van, seen here, sported two signs promoting 1st Ward Alderman Proco Joe Moreno | CWB Source
Chicago police are conducting a death investigation after a long-time 1st Ward political operative was found shot to death Sunday inside a van plastered with the signage of Chicago Alderman Proco "Joe" Moreno. Suicide is suspected.

1st Ward Alderman Proco Joe Moreno
Around 4:15 p.m. yesterday, a witness near the Elks National Memorial at 2710 North Lakeview reported hearing a single gunshot come from the van, which had "Proco Joe Moreno" signs affixed to its sides.

The incident played out just steps from grassy Lincoln Park where hundreds of locals were enjoying a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Pronounced dead at the scene was Logan Square resident Joseph Muntaner, the registered owner of the van and a long-time member of Moreno’s campaign organization and ward operation, according to a city government source who requested anonymity.

Moreno in 2014 said “my guy Muntaner…takes [his van] around to shovel snow, fill potholes, random odd jobs that need to get done. He's a ‘unique’ guy but a huge asset to the ward, albeit a bit rough around the edges at times. His methods are unorthodox…”

Police on the scene Sunday, with Munater's van in the background | Arturo Carmona
Munater's "roughness" may stem from the years he served in prison for robbery, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and narcotics, before he got into politics.

State records show he pocketed $34,511.20 of the alderman's campaign fund cash between late October 2011 and December 2015 for “field work,” “cleaning services,” and “graffiti removal.”

Campaign fund payouts ended at the end of 2015, according to Moreno's state filings.

Nonetheless, Munater—habitually decked out in a reflective yellow worker vest with the alderman's name on the back—was seen speeding around the 1st Ward in his minivan as recently as April, according to a source.

While the alderman called Muntaner’s tactics “unique” and “unorthodox,” some folks found them to be “thuggish” during the 2016 city election cycle.

At least two people reported that Muntaner told them that “there will be repercussions” for their decisions to wear stickers in support of a Moreno opponent.  Moreno went on to win the election with 51% of the votes.

Muntaner's van was towed to a police impound lot Sunday evening for forensics work. A revolver was found on its floorboard, according to a source. One shot had been fired.


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30 comments:

  1. This was also reported as a suicide.

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    Replies
    1. You mean, like, in the first paragraph?

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    2. It says suicide in the headline, ya big dummy

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  2. Just learned these alderman get full pension after serving 2 terms.

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    Replies
    1. It's actually 5 terms.
      http://chicago.suntimes.com/politics/emanuel-changes-aldermanic-pension-plan/

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    2. Good, makes much more sense. Strange, a 20 year veteran CPD told me the 2 term part. must be just a rumor.

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  3. He and his family all had city jobs, with CPD
    Water and Sewer department.

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  4. No. They don't get full pension after 2 years, you're misinformed. Where ever you learned that from is wrong. You receive 80% of your aldermanic pension after 20 years.

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  5. Pretty sure he was a city worker years ago, and was either fired or just stopped going to work. He was the alderman's personal moron, that was sent out to intimidate or harass people.

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    1. All lies. Speak the truth because you are crossing the line of slander and defamation of character.

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    2. No, you're right, maybe too strong there. Lets put it this way, no one wanted to see him coming. He had the world handed to him and he dropped it every time. He was well taken care of and always screwed it up. Maybe the Alderman will explain, at some point, why he kept him around after losing a $100,000 a year job and going to prison. So many people waiting for a chance and they had to take a back seat to him.

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    3. The audacity that you have to bash a man who just left behind two children and lost a child less than a month ago is tasteless. Next time you want to leave such a strong opinion on such a sensitive subject you should sign your name instead of leaving an anonymous comment like a coward. We'll pray for you and your ignorance.

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    4. No Smith, it's not audacity, it's frustration, because I have the same kind of guy in my family. I watched him screw up time and time again and I saw the how he slowly destroyed his family, even with all the support and guidance he had. I saw all the damage he did to his children and his wife, and went through all the drama and tragedy always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Then when you start to warm up to the kids, they start acting like him. It never ends.

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    5. Thank you! For this comment.

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    6. Im so sorry for the loss Gina. Your father was a wonderful man. If you need anything please reach out. You and your family are in my prayers.
      -Amanda Poremba

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  6. I thought acting "thuggish" was de riguer for political activists today.

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  7. The alderman's photo reminds me of my high school graduation photo, only I didn't make that obscenely suggestive gesture with my hands.

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  8. All of you are ruthless. This man just lost his son not more than a month ago. Before judging someone you never met, why don't you get all the facts. Joe was a good man who turned his life around and did everything he could to support his family.

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  9. Anyone who knew this man knows how great he was and how many people in his community loved him for the sacrifices he made to make his neighborhood a better place. None of us our perfect. So instead of bashing his name for a headline let's remember that he is family who is grieving.

    Sincerely,
    Joe Muntaner's daughter

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    1. Gina I grew up with all your aunts and uncles and dear father your aunt Gloria was one of my best friends my heart breaks for your entire family. 🙏

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    2. Dear Gina,

      I barely knew your father, but I saw him every school day for the last 5 years, when we went to pick up the kids from school. I am terribly sorry about this tragedy and I want to wish your family some peace. I am also sorry for the tone of this article, which seems mean spirited. He was pleasant to me. Please take some love from the Pritzker Elementary School families to share with Joe's grandchildren.

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  10. Louis J. Svitek Jr.May 15, 2017, 8:17:00 PM

    So Sorry for your loss. I new Joe and grew up with him as well he was a good person. He was a bit rough around the edges but we all are. Let the stupid comments go and let Joe rest in peace..
    My condolences to the Muntaner Family

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    Replies
    1. Amen! Thank you Louie.

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  11. RIP joey. May God strengthen your family during hard times. Joey would give his shirt off his back. We are devestated.

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  12. To Gina and family -
    None of us can imagine the circumstances, nor the emotions / brain chemistry, that might cause someone to take their own life.
    You lost someone you love.
    So, I'm sorry for you. Very sorry.
    No matter Joe's other circumstances, the world is not well-served by such pain.
    May you find comfort in the good deeds done.
    May you find forgiveness for the mistakes made.
    And may you find good wishes and support from your neighbors.
    I never met Joe. And I don't believe in any god.
    But I do know that we are all in this together.

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  13. I'm sure the people who are commenting mean no disrespect to the family and no one could know that the man lost a child recently. It certainly seems like this man and his activities in relation to the Alderman are polarizing. If it's true that he said "“there will be repercussions” for their decisions to wear stickers in support of a Moreno opponent;" that is a serious obstruction of democracy. For better or worse news cycles move fast. It's really not feasible to expect people not to comment one way or the other while the family is grieving. On the plus side for the family, all the commenters will forget about all this in about 24 hours.

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  14. I want to thank everyone that has left positive comments on this Blog. This has been a very painful time for the immediate members of the Muntaner family as well as the extended family members. And I want to thank Gina for defending her father's legacy. I love you Gina. You grew up to be a strong and independent young lady, just like father wanted. May my cousin, Joey, have eternal peace. Sincerely, Judge Gloria Chevere (Retired)

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  15. It is sad when any one decides the only alternative is the taking of ones own life. One has to be suffering deeply and at a level so unbearable to take such action. It does not matter what another human beings character is like. Such a final ending should make one feel empathy and not comment on what the person was like. If you need to judge, remember you are being selfish as the person who committed an act on one self has already judged himself. So really unless you are God himself your only thought should be one of sorrow and not negativity.

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  16. Please support the Muntaner family.
    http://www.gofundme.com/support-the-muntaner-family

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  17. Moreno is one of the aldermen who supported changing a Chicago street name to honor unrepentant Puerto Rican terrorist chief Rivera, a man who brought sorrow and heartbreak to dozens of American homes. No wonder decent people are leaving Chicago.

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