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UPDATE: Wisconsin bar association rescinds award for convicted felon

Updated: 8:54 p.m. on April 19, 2018

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state bar association has stripped a lawyer convicted in a sexual assault of a prestigious award in the wake of stinging criticism from Attorney General Brad Schimel.

The State Bar of Wisconsin announced Tuesday that Stephan Addison had won the 2018 Jack DeWitt WisLAP Volunteer Award, which recognizes a lawyer, judge or group that has helped attorneys with stress, addiction or mental health issues.

Schimel ripped the bar for picking Addison, saying Addison didn't deserve it because he was convicted of a felony in connection with a 2005 sexual assault.

The bar posted a news release Thursday saying that the award committee had reconvened earlier in the day and decided to rescind the award at the request of bar leadership.

Addison didn't immediately reply to an email.

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Updated: 5:25 a.m. on April 19. 2018

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The president of the State Bar of Wisconsin wants to change course and deny a felon an award after the nomination drew criticism from Attorney General Brad Schimel.

The bar announced Tuesday that Stephan Addison had won the 2018 Jack DeWitt WisLAP Volunteer Award, which recognizes a lawyer, judge or group that helps the Wisconsin Lawyers Assistance Program. The program helps attorneys deal with addiction and depression.

Addison was convicted in 2006 of recklessly endangering safety and misdemeanor sexual gratification in connection with a 2005 sexual assault. Schimel said Wednesday that Addison doesn't deserve the award.

Bar President Paul Swanson says many volunteer attorneys for WisLAP have been through recovery programs themselves and an award recipient's past behavior traditionally hasn't been considered.

However, Swanson says the WisLAP award committee now plans to reconvene to discuss the award and he will recommend Addison's nomination be withdrawn.

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Posted: 7:09 p.m. on April 18, 2018

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Attorney General Brad Schimel is criticizing the state bar for giving a felon an award.

The bar announced Tuesday that Stephan Addison had won the 2018 Jack DeWitt WisLAP Volunteer Award, which recognizes a lawyer, judge or group that helps the Wisconsin Lawyers Assistance Program. The program helps attorneys deal with stress.

Addison was convicted in 2006 of recklessly endangering safety and misdemeanor sexual gratification in connection with a 2005 sexual assault.

Schimel issued a news release Wednesday saying Addison doesn't deserve the award and questioning the message the bar is sending to sexual assault victims.

Bar spokeswoman Kristen Durst didn't immediately respond to messages. The bar's website indicates Addison is currently practicing in Illinois. He didn't immediately reply to an email.

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