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Former North Salt Lake City Attorney David Michael Nielsen entered a plea in abeyance in state court Tuesday for attempting to buy cocaine last summer.

Nielsen, 44, approached an undercover police officer in an alley in downtown Salt Lake City on the evening of June 27 and tried to buy $100 of crack cocaine from the officer, according to charging documents.

After his arrest, Nielsen admitted to police he came to the area to purchase crack. Police found $200 on him.

Nielsen was subsequently charged in 3rd District Court with third-degree felony attempted possession or use of a controlled substance. He entered his guilty plea before Judge Randall Skanchy, who ordered Nielsen to complete drug court.

If Nielsen completes drug treatment, the charge will be dismissed in three years, said defense attorney Greg Skordas, who called his client "a first-time offender."

Nielsen resigned in July as North Salt Lake City Attorney, and also lost part-time jobs as prosecutor for West Bountiful and Woods Cross. Skordas said Nielsen now has a private law practice in Bountiful.

The defendant graduated from law school at the University of Utah in 1981 and was admitted to the Utah State Bar in May 1982, according to the Bar's website.