Embattled state Rep. Dionne Halverson, D-Ogden, will likely retain her seat in the Utah House but will first submit to an ethics investigation by colleagues.
Halverson herself has reportedly agreed to call for the investigation into whether or not she should continue serving in the Legislature following her no-contest plea to a shoplifting charge.Halverson was to make the motion Tuesday, along with House Minority Leader Frank Pignanelli and House Speaker H. Craig Moody, who will appoint a committee of lawmakers to investigate. The ethics committee will then make a recommendation to the full House.
Halverson has refused requests by party leaders that she resign.
"The House could censor her, they could revoke some of her privileges, or they could expel her," said House Minority Whip Kelly Atkinson, D-West Jordan. "We (Democratic leadership) have talked to the other side of the aisle (Republicans), and quite frankly I don't think expulsion will happen."
The Democratic leadership is concerned about the negative publicity the case has garnered, and they are hopeful the ethics committee with proceed "expeditiously."
"We hope to have a determination by Friday," Atkinson said. "We need to clear the air as soon as possible . . . we want that; Dionne wants that."