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Public Defender Had No Law Degree, License

Steven Welchons worked for two years as a public defender without so much as a law degree or a license to practice. Now scores of cases he handled could be thrown out on appeal.

“It’s astounding. Incredible,” said Peter Dunn, chairman of the Madison Legal Defense Fund, which refers poor people to the county public defender’s office. “We’re in the process of trying to find out how this happened.”

Welchons, 32, handled 1,000 to 2,000 criminal cases during the past two years, said District Attorney Donald Cerio Jr.

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