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Muñoz was the youngest member of the City Council when he first joined the body in 1993. "Alderman Ricardo Muñoz is one of the few independents on the City Council who isn't afraid to speak out against the mayor when he sees fit," wrote the Chicago Tribune in endorsing Muñoz for re-election in February 2003. "He has presented a number of innovative ideas... a terrific choice for voters."
Muñoz intervened to help his daughter, whose test scores weren't high enough, get into a prestigious city high school. Muñoz acknowledged August 13, 2009 that he called Whitney Young High School's principal Joyce Kenner to find a spot for his daughter who could not get in on merit. Chicago Board of Education President Michael Scott disclosed that he had been subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury investigating how students are chosen for admission to the elite public schools. School officials released copies of a July 21, 2009 subpoena demanding the names of every student who applied to be among a select group of students hand-picked by principals of the elite high schools. The subpoena also sought e-mails and other correspondence with "public officials" about applicants.
On August 2, 2010 Muñoz took the unusual step of admitting that he was an alcoholic just six months before standing for re-election.
Ricardo Muñoz was born in Monterrey, Mexico, and is currently the ranking Mexican-American member of the City Council. A graduate of Northern Illinois University, he and his wife, Betty, own a home in the Little Village community. They are the parents of Whitney Young graduate Ricardo Alejandro and Whitney Young student Angelica Maria Muñoz.
Muñoz's father, Elias Muñoz, a legal Mexican immigrant, operated Nuevo Foto Muñoz at 3105 W. 26th St., in the Little Village Discount Mall, though not in the 22nd Ward. In April, 2007, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents searched the shop as part of an investigation dubbed "Operation Paper Tiger." On May 29, 2007, Elias Muñoz was charged with conspiracy to produce false identification documents and aiding and abetting. Elias Muñoz pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four years in prison and two additional years of probation. When asked by Pam Zekman about his father Elias' involvement in the identification ring for a television report in May, 2006, Alderman Muñoz said, "That shouldn't be taking place – bottom line."
- Dardick, Hal (2010-08-03). "Chicago Ald. Ricardo Munoz outs himself as an alcoholic". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-08-03.
- Spielman, Fran (2009-08-13). "Alderman helps his kid get into top high school; WHITNEY YOUNG; Munoz called principal". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2009-08-25.
- "Operator of a Chicago "Little Village" photo shop — Nuevo Foto Muñoz — charged with participating in fraudulent identification document conspiracy". U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. 2007-05-30. Retrieved 2009-10-25.
- "OPERATOR OF LITTLE VILLAGE PHOTO SHOP – NUEVO FOTO MUNOZ – CHARGED WITH PARTICIPATING IN FRAUDULENT IDENTIFICATION DOCUMENT CONSPIRACY". U.S. Department of Justice, United States Attorney. Northern District of Illinois. 2007-05-29. Retrieved 2009-10-25.
- Olivo, Antonio (2009-01-06). "Ald. Munoz's father gets 4 years in fake ID case". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2009-10-25.