The city terminated a public safety officer earlier this month for "conduct unbecoming an officer," Police Chief Ted Peacock said.

Orem fired Stephen C. Leetham on Sept. 7 after Alpine police notified the department that Leetham is being investigated for alleged lewdness. Leetham worked for Orem for two years.Alpine Police Chief Brent Leseberg said charges have not yet been filed. The alleged activity occurred more than once and involved young people and adults, Leseberg said.

Alpine police notified Orem about the allegations involving Leetham on Sept. 5, and he was suspended that day, Peacock said. After conducting his own investigation, Leetham's division commander felt there was sufficient evidence to warrant terminating Leetham's employment, Peacock said.

Leetham appealed the commander's action to Peacock.

"After I looked into it I upheld the decision of the division commander," Peacock said. "I don't need the same proof as what they would need to take a person to court."

Leetham is the first public safety officer in Orem to be terminated over such allegations.

He appealed the department's action to Orem's Employee Advisory Council, which is composed of city employees. The council met Wednesday, but city Personnel Director Peggy D'Avignon would not say whether the council discussed Leetham's appeal.

The advisory council reviews appeals and decides whether a hearing is justified; a hearing can be private or public, at the request of the employee involved.

"They have never decided not to hear an appeal," City Manager Daryl Berlin said.

After a hearing, the council makes a recommendation to Berlin about whether a department director's action was appropriate or needs to be modified.

Berlin then takes final action on an appeal.

At that point if Leetham is still unsatisfied with the city's action he may seek redress through the courts, Peacock said.