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Public Defender Board


James M. Brennan,Chair
John J. Hogan, Vice Chair
Ellen Thorn, Secretary
Regina Dunkin, member
Patrick J. Fiedler, member
Joseph Miotke, member
Mai Neng Xiong, member

James M. Brennann

James M. Brennan, Chair

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.


John Hogan John J. Hogan, Vice Chair

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.





Ellen Thorn

Ellen Thorn, Secretary

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.

Regina Dunkin

Regina Dunkin,

Regina Dunkin is the Community Relations Coordinator for Beloit Health System, after serving 18 years as the Executive Director of the Merrill Community Center. Regina attended Beloit College and was instrumental in the establishment of a new Merrill Community Center, first children’s program for the Beloit Survivor Center, and Community Action’s Fresh Start Program.

Regina is a leader who consistently gives back to the children and families of our community. She has served on over dozen boards and committees. Currently, she is a member of the Greater Beloit Economic Development Corporation Board, League of Women Voters and the Wisconsin Housing Preservation Corporation Board.  She is Beloit's first female African-American City Council President and Wisconsin's first female African-American Chair of the Public Defender Board.

Regina has been recognized for her outstanding service through various awards and accolades including the School District of Beloit Hero Award, United Way Campaign Coordinator Award, Girl Scouts Volunteer Award, City of Beloit Citizen Award, Janesville School District Martin Luther King Jr. Award, United Way Cabinet Chair Award, League of Women Voter's Women in Politics Award, Beloit College Warrior Award, Zonta Minnie Mills-Enking Memorial Award, Wisconsin Association of School Boards Award, Congressional Award from the U.S. House of Representatives, Unsung Hero Award, YWCA Woman of Distinction Award, Big Brothers and Big Sisters Volunteer Award,  NAACP Community Award, United Way Campaign Champion 2018, Beloit College Martin Luther King Jr. Award and University of Wisconsin Community Award. 

In 2006, Regina was honored with an official Proclamation from the City of Beloit declaring August 9, Regina Dunkin Day. She was elected to the Beloit School Board from 2000-2006. Regina is the former President of Beloit City Council, being first elected in 2016. She has served on the Wisconsin State Public Defender Board for 15 years, being reappointed by Governor Tony Evers in 2020. Also in 2020, she was the recipient of the Beloit College Ousley Scholar in Residency Award and Beloit Daily News Laurence A. Raymer Headliner Award. Regina proudly represents the citizens of Beloit and State of Wisconsin!        



Patrick J. Fiedler Patrick J. Fiedler

Patrick J. Fiedler's diverse legal career includes service as the United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, 18 years as a Dane County Circuit Judge, and President of the State Bar of Wisconsin.  As a lawyer, he has tried over 60 jury trials, and as a judge he has presided over more than 150 juries.  Since returning to the private practice of law in late 2011, he has served as a mediator and arbitrator in over 100 different cases.  Additionally, he has represented numerous individuals in both civil and criminal cases as a trial lawyer.  Patrick also has served as an independent investigator for both public entities and private organizations.  As a mediator, Patrick's practice is to: "Prepare, listen and then evaluate."  When he is at trial it is to: "Focus on the issues from a jury's perspective.  Then present your case accordingly."



Joe Miotke

Joseph Miotke

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.

Mai Neng Xiong

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 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.