Democratic State Chairman Peter Billings Jr. said Friday that he asked embattled Rep. Dionne Halverson, D-Ogden, to resign her House seat, but she refused.

Halverson, who hasn't returned press telephone calls since her plea last month of no contest to a shoplifting charge, released a statement this week saying she wouldn't resign because it wouldn't be fair to her constituents. She maintains it would take longer than the 45-day general session, which starts Monday, to have her replacement named. Thus, her Ogden district wouldn't have representation in the House during the session, she argued.However, Billings said, it would take only several weeks to name a replacement, that Halverson's effectiveness has been crippled by her actions, and that the integrity of the House suffers by her presence.

Democratic House leaders say they'll ask for an ethics investigation of Halverson's actions. Halverson herself said she'll call for such an investigation of no one else does.