Kansas Public Defenders Stop Taking New Cases

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WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ The Sedgwick County public defenders office
says it is not taking any new clients. It says its existing caseload is overwhelming at a time the office is underfunded and understaffed.

Chief public defender Steve Osburn says his office needs from two weeks to a month to catch up on its workload.

Osburn says public defenders have an obligation to offer ethical

Sedgwick County District Judge Eric Yost presides over the criminal courts division. He says he will use private attorneys for court-appointed defense cases and bill the state.

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