An Ogden legislator who pleaded no contest this week to stealing clothing from a department store said she does not plan to resign from office.
Democrat Dionne P. Halverson, said she spoke with Rep. H. Craig Moody, R-Salt Lake, Thursday afternoon and received support to continue her duties as a representative."I have had a wide base of support from constituents, friends, fellow legislators and neighbors," she said. "I will return to Capitol Hill, and I will represent my constituents."
An ethics committee may investigate the matter if at least three legislators file an inquiry, said Moody, who will preside as the House speaker during the 1991 legislative session.
Halverson, 43, pleaded no contest Monday to a class A misdemeanor of retail theft in the theft of $196 in clothing from the Mervyn's in the Newgate Mall in Ogden.
Eight items of clothing were taken Dec. 20. Halverson was stopped by a store security guard as she walked out of the building, said Assistant Ogden City Attorney Dan Garner.
The prosecutor said officials recorded the sale price of the items during the investigation. If the regular price of the stolen goods had been listed in police records, the charge could have jumped to a third-degree felony, said Garner.
Halverson, who appeared before 2nd Circuit Judge W. Brent West during her arraignment Monday, was given a $350 fine and 18 months on probation, said Garner.
One of the conditions of probation is that she enroll and complete an anti-theft therapy program.
Halverson also received a 30-day jail sentence that was suspended.
Garner said West would consider a defense motion to dismiss the case if the defendant successfully completes her 18-month probation.
Halverson would not comment on the details of the incident but said "this has been the most traumatic thing I have ever gone through in my life."
She said she hopes to share her incident with the public following the legislative session in January and February.
Moody said Halverson plans to take a few minutes on the floor during next month's session to possibly address the incident.
"I will do all I can to help those who have had a problem like this. I will become more public about it after the session. Several auxiliary groups have approached me about talking about it," she said. "I'm gearing up right now to be a responsible legislator."
Halverson won a second two-year term last November representing Utah House District 10.