The Utah County attorney's office has charged Lehi Mayor Guy Cash with receiving unlawful compensation as an elected official, a third-degree felony, in connection with a real estate deal.

The charge, filed Thursday in 4th Circuit Court in American Fork, stems from a monthlong investigation by the Utah County sheriff's office into the sale of a residential lot owned by the city in which Cash allegedly participated both as a real estate agent and as mayor.According to detective Dave Bennett, Lehi obtained ownership of 10 lots in the Cedar Hollow subdivision last year because the city had paid the property owner's payments on a special improvement district for the past 10 years.

On Oct. 25, 1990, Cash, a real estate broker for Wardley Better Homes and Gardens, allegedly sold one of the lots without notifying or discussing the matter with other city officials. Cash received a commission on the sale of the property, Bennett said.

He also, as mayor, signed the sale agreement.

"Nobody on the council was aware that the lot had been sold until some time later," Bennett said.

County Attorney Kay Bryson said Cash was charged under section 10-3-1305 of the Utah Code. The section says no public official can receive or agree to receive any compensation for a business transaction involving the city without first declaring so in a sworn statement or disclosing the compensation in an open public meeting.

The Deseret News attempted to contact Cash on Thursday, but he did not return phone calls.

Bryson said Cash was charged with a third-degree felony because the amount of compensation received was between $250 and $1,000. If found guilty, Cash faces a possible sentence of up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

According to the Utah municipal officers and employees' ethics act in the Utah code, public officials guilty of violating section 10-3-1305 "shall be removed from office."