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Public Defender Board

Ellen Thorn is an attorney in private practice with Arndt, Buswell, & Thorn, S.C. in Sparta, Wisconsin. She attended the University of Wisconsin Law School and was a State Public Defender attorney in La Crosse for many years.
Ellen is a past president and board member of Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and past president of Monroe County Bar Association. She is an instructor at the University of Wisconsin Law School in Criminal and Family Law, Lawyering Skills, and has presented criminal law topics for the State Public Defender Trial Skills Institute, the Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the UW-Extension. Ellen has also been a Mock Trial Coach for Central High School in La Crosse, Wisconsin. She has served on the State of Wisconsin Fee Arbitration Panel and the 7th Judicial District Citizen Review Panel.
In addition, Ellen has served on the La Crosse Diocese Child Sexual Abuse Review Board. She is a past board member of the Morrow Memorial Home Foundation and the Coulee Children's Court Center.

Ellen Thorn


James M. Brennan is the former Director of Family and Children’s Ministries for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Inc.  He previously worked for the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee, Inc. for 30 years, serving as Chief Staff Attorney for 25 years.  Jim attended Marquette University Law School and has been in trial practice for 27 years in Milwaukee County Circuit Courts. 

He is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Bar Association, Seventh Circuit Bar Association, and National Association of Counsel for Children.  In addition, Jim is a past chairperson of the State Bar of Wisconsin Board of Governors.  He is a current committee member of the Lawyer Regulation Study, Diversity Outreach, Family Law and Litigation.  In addition, Jim is the board liaison for the Legal Assistance Committee.  He has been recognized for his contributions to the SPD Program.  

Jim is the recipient of the Legal Action of Wisconsin/Outstanding Pro Bono Publico Award, State Bar Indigent Defense Committee Outstanding Service Award, State Bar of Wisconsin Pro Bono Award, and the State Bar President's Award.

James M. Brennan


T.R. Williams' biography is forthcoming.

T.R. Williams


John J. Hogan has been a member of the Public Defender Board since 1996.  John has his own law practice, Hogan Law Office, in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, and specializes in trial practice in the Rhinelander/Minocqua area.  In 1977, John graduated from Marquette Law School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Additionally, John served as Oneida County District Attorney from 1979 to 1985.

John J. Hogan

Vice Chair

Anthony Cooper speaks from experience when he talks about the problems that ex-offenders have when released from prison or jail. Whether it is finding housing, getting a job, or re-connecting with family members, he understands the challenges involved.

Anthony has worked for Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership Development since February 2013 as Director of Reentry Service and recently as Vice President of Strategic Partnerships & Reentry Services. As such, he creates and maintains relationships with employers, provides job development, oversees Nehemiah housing programs, is involved with the Department of Corrections and Madison Police Department and developing community relations. He provides court advocacy not only in Madison but in the surrounding counties. He has assisted the City of Madison mayor and Dane County Executive to enhance local reentry efforts.

Anthony has received certification as a Nonviolent Crisis Intervention Instructor and Connecticut Community for Addition Recovery Coach.

Anthony Cooper, Sr.


Mai Neng Xiong is the Interpreter Services Coordinator for the Central Region with Ministry Health Care.  She is responsible for the coordination of Interpreter staff and contracted personnel throughout the Ministry Health Care Central Region.  Mai also reviews, plans and coordinates services within the region.  
She provides education to departments regarding Interpreter Services and proper procedures on use of service.  In addition, Mai orientates all new interpreters to Ministry facilities and assesses interpreter’s abilities.  Furthermore, she is the liaison with communities regarding Interpreter Services available throughout the Central Region.  Mai is a former coordinator for the Hmong Mental Health Institute of Wausau, Wisconsin, focusing on issues affecting the Hmong community across the United States.

Mai Neng Xiong


Joe Miotke is an attorney in private practice with DeWitt Ross & Stevens in Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  He is a Shareholder in the intellectual property practice group and a registered patent attorney.  Joe is a leader in Wisconsin’s legal, education, and entrepreneurship communities. 

He is a Past-President of the Wisconsin Intellectual Property Law Association (“WIPLA”) and a member of the leadership team for the Wisconsin Chapter of the Licensing Executives Society (“LES”).  Joe also serves as the Statewide Leadership Chair for Project Lead The Way (“PLTW”) Wisconsin, one of the largest pre-k through grade 12 science, technology, engineering, and math (“STEM”) education programs in the United States. Joe was appointed to Marquette University’s Research & Innovation Council, which provides guidance to University leadership.

He also serves on the Board Of Directors for BizStarts Milwaukee, which provides no cost entrepreneurship guidance to small businesses throughout Wisconsin with a focus on women and minority owned businesses.  Joe earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Marquette University and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Marquette University Law School.

Joseph Miotke


Ingrid Jagers, a 20-year veteran in healthcare compliance, manages a team at Optum ensuring compliance with state and federal regulatory matters across the country. She supports privacy and international privacy and is a member of Optum's Inclusion and Diversity Committee. Ingrid is a graduate of Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin Law School, and volunteers for several non-profit organizations in the Milwaukee area.

Ingrid Jagers




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