Chicago City Wire

Chicago City Wire

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

CORRECTED: Alderman Moreno's girlfriend, fake car theft caper confound police, First Ward voters


By LGIS News Service | Feb 5, 2019

Moreno girlfriend
35 year-old Lilya Hrabar of Des Plaines

In June 2016, the Chicago Reader named Chicago First Ward Ald. Proco "Joe" Moreno and Oak Park-reared non-profit executive Celena Roldan the city's second-ranked "power couple."

That's after then-U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife, then-First Lady Michelle, who earned top billing.

But five months later, according to Cook County Court records Moreno, 46, had already filed for divorce from Roldan, 42, who he married to great local fanfare less than three years previous.

Moreno's home life became a public spectacle last week after WGN-TV reporter Meghan Dwyer reported he had filed a police report claiming a "single mother" stole his car.

The "single mother" turned out to be his girlfriend, 35 year-old Lilya Hrabar of Des Plaines, who showed the station text messages proving she hadn't stolen the car but had, rather, borrowed it with Moreno's explicit permission after spending the night with the alderman.

The Chicago Police Department is now investigating whether Moreno filed a false police report.

According to Illinois State Board of Elections records, voter registration records for Moreno and Roldan still list their addresses as 1330 N. Leavitt in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood.

However, Roldan told Chicago City Wire the two no longer live together.

"She brings out the best in me"

In announcing his engagement, the "hipster alderman" Moreno, known in his ward for his sharp tongue and combative demeanor, showed a softer side.

On Facebook, Moreno called Roldan "the most inspiring, beautiful and opinioned (sic) person I've ever known."

"She brings out the best in me, and every day I feel lucky to know her," he wrote.

Moreno and Roldan were married on a beach in Vieques, Puerto Rico.

But some 40 months later, in Dec. 2016, Moreno filed a petition for divorce from Roldan in Cook County Court. The divorce was made final in May 2017.

Roldan became CEO of the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago in May 2016.

The Moline, Ill. native Moreno was first appointed to the Chicago City Council  to represent the First Ward in March 2010 after incumbent Ald. Manny Flores resigned to take a job with then Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. 

Moreno was elected in 2011 and again in 2015. He is running for re-election this year, challenged by 37 year-old "housing activist" and graduate student Daniel La Spata.

Chicago lobbyist Victor Reyes recently named Moreno as one of four alderman who sent him business in exchange for campaign contributions.

Today, the Chicago Sun-Times endorsed Moreno for re-election.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this article stated Moreno and Roldan were still living in the same home. This has been updated after Roldan told Chicago City Wire the two were no longer living together.

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Organizations in this Story

WGN-TV 9 ChicagoChicago Police DepartmentChicago City CouncilFriends for Proco Joe MorenoChicago Reader

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