Weber County Attorney Reed Richards denies that state Rep. Dionne Halverson received special treatment when she was charged with misdemeanor shoplifting rather than a felony.

Last month, the Ogden Democrat pleaded no contest to a class A misdemeanor charge after she was arrested for shoplifting eight items worth $196 from a Mervyn's department store in the Newgate Mall.She was placed on 18 months probation, fined $350 and ordered to undergo therapy. Under state law, Halverson could have been sentenced to a year in jail.

Although spared the ignominy of being booked into jail, that was the only break police gave to Halverson following her arrest, Richards said.

The lawmaker, who was re-elected in November, originally was picked up on suspicion of third-degree felony theft Dec. 20.

However, Halverson ended up being cited with the misdemeanor after Sgt. Joe O'Keefe intervened with calls to the store and a circuit judge, Police Capt. A.K. Greenwood said.

Halverson reportedly asked to see O'Keefe, who was described as a friend of the legislator.

Greenwood conducted a departmental investigation after police received calls alleging Halverson received special treatment. But Greenwood said the probe showed that no departmental violations occurred.