Candidate profile: DeKalb County State’s Attorney

Northern Star Staff

The following is the response to a Northern Star questionnaire sent to all local candidates for the 2020 election. Answers have been lightly edited for clarity and consistency.


Rick Amato


DeKalb County State’s Attorney


Northern Illinois University, Bachelor of Science Marketing, 1996, Magna Cum Laude

The John Marshall Law School, Juris Doctor, 2003

Position Running for:

DeKalb County State’s Attorney

Related Experience:

DeKalb County State’s Attorney’s Office

Assistant State’s Attorney, 2003 to 2004

The Law Offices of Amato and Sheen, P.C. Founding and Managing Partner, 2005 to 2016. Developed office from start-up to northern Illinois industry leader with a staff of 8 attorneys and 10 support staff.

State’s Attorney, 2016 to Present

DeKalb County’s chief legal advisor responsible for 12 attorneys. 8 support staff and managing $1.8 million budget.

Why are you running:

Since taking office four years ago, the initiatives and programs we have implemented focus on community safety by holding accountable our county’s most violent offenders and working to reduce recidivism in lower-level offenders.  We have added programs such as our felony review program, the felony diversion program, the Stacia Hollinshead Veterans program and the HOPE program with the DeKalb Police Department. I seek a second term as State’s Attorney to continue this work. Our work will continue on these programs and build new ones.

Goals you want to accomplish:

We will develop a program to further assist domestic violence victims. They deserve to have the most comprehensive services wrapped around them as they work to free themselves over the power and control of their abuser. We will work with the children of the families suffering the abuse and other trauma to ensure we will build pathways to hope so that their lives do not further perpetuate the suffering that they are enduring. Finally, we will continue to work on programs that focus on recidivism to continue leading people to crime-free lives. 

Why students/residents should vote for me:

I have built my entire 17-year legal career around DeKalb County. I have served our community as an assistant state’s attorney, private legal counsel, and as the DeKalb County State’s Attorney. Serving in these roles has allowed me to not only learn how to practice law in our courthouse but to genuinely know our community and our community’s needs. While in private practice and while serving as State’s Attorney, I have continually demonstrated the ability to effectively grow, manage, and sustain large law practices. My combined knowledge of our legal system, passion for our community, and the ability to lead enables me to be the best person to serve as the DeKalb County State’s Attorney.

The Northern Star is publishing the candidates’ responses to our questions as they are given to us. The Northern Star is not endorsing local candidates.