A lifelong resident of DuPage County, Rick Veenstra has dedicated his life to public service; from serving as a member of the Village of Addison’s Citizens Advisory Council at the age of 16 to his position as the Corporation Counsel for the City of Aurora today. Along the way he has served as a congressional and Illinois legislative intern; planning & zoning commission member; township trustee; and community, misdemeanor and felony prosecutor and deputy chief in the Civil Bureau of the DuPage County State's Attorney Office.
As the City of Aurora’s chief legal officer, Rick leads a team of attorneys responsible for advising the City’s officers and employees on a wide range of matters including contracts, ethics, employment, and municipal procedures along with specialized local government topics such as land use and zoning. He oversees all litigation involving the City.
Rick began his legal career at the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office as an Assistant State’s Attorney in the Criminal Prosecutions Bureau. There, Rick handled hundreds of traffic, misdemeanor, and felony cases through final disposition earning valuable courtroom and trial experience. Moving to the Civil Bureau, Rick took on a unique role coordinating the office’s community prosecutions program where he worked with law enforcement and community leaders to develop strategies to address various quality of life issues, including nuisances caused by gang, prostitution and gambling activity.
After spending time in private practice, including criminal defense work, Rick returned to the State’s Attorney’s Office as Deputy Chief of the Civil Bureau. In this role, Rick managed the office’s day-to-day representation of county government and served as principal counsel to the DuPage County Board. Rick’s responsibilities also included managing the State’s Attorney’s legislative agenda allowing him to work closely with legislators of both parties to draft and pass laws to enhance public safety.
Throughout his time in the State’s Attorney’s Office, Rick worked to engage the community by educating the public about various issues including identity theft, elder abuse, internet safety, and bullying. He also represented the State’s Attorney on numerous task forces and committees including the Regional Office of Education’s Bullying Task Force, the Illinois Sentencing Policy Advisory Council, and the DuPage County Juvenile Justice Council.
While attending Elmhurst College, Rick volunteered as an intern for the late Congressman Henry Hyde before graduating magna cum laude with a degree in finance and political science and a minor in urban studies. He earned his law degree from DePaul University’s College of Law. In addition to his licensure in Illinois state courts, Rick is a member of the General and Trial Bar of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and is admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. He contributes to his profession by volunteering as a director and former officer of the DuPage County Bar Association and previously chaired its local government section. Rick is also a member of the Illinois State Bar Association and represents lawyers in the 18th Judicial Circuit as a member of the Association’s Assembly. He is a member of the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy.
Rick was an elected precinct committeeman for over ten years. He represented DuPage County as a delegate to the last five Republican State Conventions and previously volunteered his time as legal counsel to the DuPage County Republican Central Committee. He and his wife Angela are members of St. Alexis Parish.