MEET DORA:

A Life of Public Service. 

My experience as State’s Attorney, combined with a decade of practicing a variety of types of law, will give me the skills and experience necessary to be an effective public servant.   I very much look forward to serving the citizens of Rock Island County. 

Thank you for visiting my website. We will continue to update it as the campaign rolls on, but I appreciate your interest in the process, and I hope to see you on the campaign trail. In the meantime, I am honored to be working for you. 

Dora’s Work in Office—

  • Managing 12 attorneys and 14 assistants.

  • Digitizing: Changed to secure e-mail disclosure of reports, motions and videos to defense counsel, eliminating copying, paper and postage expense. Moved to online legal research and saved over $15k in costs.

  • Began all Grand Jury proceedings for probable cause findings on felony charges vs. weekly Preliminary Hearings. 

  • “Smart on Crime”: Focus on serious and violent offenses, assigned Street Crimes Prosecutor.

  • Criminal Justice Reform:

    • First Offender Initiative Program—available for all non-violent offenses

    • Alternative sentencing for low-level offenses

    • Resources for addiction and mental health

    • Mental Health Task Force

    • Cannabis Forums and Training—website and email for the public

    • Recalled all Failure to Pay Warrants

    • New forms for Fees & Assessments—to allow fee waivers for indigent defendants

  • Personal review of felony cases.

  • Weekly case review with our local Federal authorities. 

  • Victim Rights training and Policy—new policies in office to ensure compliance 

with Victim Rights’ Act.

  • Personal meetings with victims/families of violent crimes.

  • Legal Update Training for Law Enforcement Agencies.

  • Presented at Citizens Police Academy, Pot Panel, Crimestoppers, Career Days and Job Shadowing with local schools to explain the duties of the office.

  • Special Prosecutor for Whiteside County to handle prosecute sex abuse case.

  • Maintaining felony caseload as well as administrative duties.

  • Assist in all courtrooms: traffic, misdemeanor, juvenile and felony.

  • Quick responses to Department Heads and County Board.

  • Created State’s Attorney Facebook Page for increased awareness and accessibility.

DORA—EXPERIENCE

  • Licenses Held: Illinois State Court; Illinois Federal Court-Central District; Iowa State Court; United States Supreme Court

  • Over a decade of Criminal Trial Experience including homicides, sex abuse, armed violence, DUI, drug, misdemeanor, traffic and juvenile delinquency cases.

  • Over a decade of Civil Trial Experience including family law, business law, real estate, employment law and education law.

  • Special Prosecutor. 

  • Court-appointed attorney for Spanish-speaking defendants.

  • Court-appointed attorney for indigent defendants.

  • Guardian ad Litem for Elderly and Juveniles in Abuse/Neglect Cases.

  • Certified Arbitrator.

  • Judicial Clerkship, Hennepin County, MN.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm Dora Villarreal, State's Attorney in Rock Island County. I am working for –

  • Safer Neighborhoods with less gun violence

  • Effective prosecution of violent crimes

  • Smarter crime prevention by building partnerships with law enforcement & community groups

  • Transparency in government & streamlining services

  • Better strategies for mental health and addiction 

Community: 

 

  • Rock Island County Bar Association (president) 

  • Illinois State Bar Association

  • Prairie State Legal Services Committee

  • Girl Scout Troop Leader, Seton Elementary

  • School Volunteer 

  • Volunteer Yoga Teacher, Rock Island County Jail

  • Board member of CAC(Child Advocacy Center) 

  • Rock Island County Democratic Committee

  • Rock Island County Democrat Women's Club

  • Member of LULAC

 

Dora Villarreal Nieman is a first-generation attorney. Both of her parents emigrated to the United States from Monterrey, Mexico. She is a proud graduate of Alleman High School and earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL. She earned her law degree from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN, and then returned to practice in the Quad Cities. She began a general practice with Katz & Nowinski in Moline, IL and then found her passion within criminal law at the Rock Island County Public Defender’s Office. She has practiced law for over a decade and was most recently an associate at Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham, where she handled both criminal and civil litigation. 

Dora was chosen unanimously by the Rock Island County Board as the Rock Island County State’s Attorney after John McGehee was appointed as Circuit Court Judge and was sworn in on July 1, 2019. Dora is the President of the Rock Island County Bar Association, a position nominated by past Presidents, and has been a member of the Prairie State Legal Services Committee, the Scott County Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, LULUC and serves on the board of NAMI and the Children’s Advocacy Center. 

 

Dora has also been involved in the community as a Girl Scout troop leader, animal shelter volunteer, and volunteer yoga teacher. Dora is bilingual, which has helped her assist our diverse community throughout her career. 

Her husband, Nate Nieman, is also a first-generation attorney in Rock Island who has a long history of representing underserved populations and specializes in criminal appeals in Iowa and Illinois. Dora has a twelve-year old daughter, lots of pets, and loves reading and practicing yoga in her spare time.

Paid for by “Friends of Dora Villarreal.” A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is (or will be) available on the Board’s official website (www.elections.il.gov) or for purchase from the State Board of Elections, Springfield, IL.