SPANISH FORK — The law-enforcement agency that governs the certifications of Utah police officers will soon start an investigation into the actions of several Utah County sheriff's deputies who resigned after the sheriff conducted a sexual-misconduct probe.

Five male officers and one female employee were investigated for improper sexual behavior on and off duty for the past several months, said Utah County Sheriff's Lt. Jerry Monson.

Four of the five officers and the woman resigned and the fifth officer has been placed on a two-week suspension without pay, Monson said.

Their names are not going to be released because their consensual actions between the co-workers were not criminal, Monson said.

Several have written letters and expressed remorse for casting a embarrassing pall over the county sheriff's office, he said.

"They were very apologetic," Monson said. "I think the fact that they resigned is quite telling. It kind of tells you they ... knew they violated policy."

All of the activities were "isolated" incidents and not group actions, Monson said.

"These were good people," Monson said, noting that their employment length varied from two years to 20 years. "Very good people who made a mistake."

Authorities at the Peace Officer Standards and Training academy are waiting for the case from Utah County Sheriff Jim Tracy, who recently completed his probe.

Once they get it, they'll begin their own investigation, said Sgt. Jeff Nigbur, spokesman for the Utah Department of Public Safety.

The officers being investigated have the choice to sign or not sign consent agreements to voluntarily give up their certifications, Nigbur said.

If they fight it, the proceedings will take much longer.

After the POST investigation, the information will be presented to the POST council, which will make a decision about law-enforcement licensing.

If an officer's certification is suspended for less than four years, the officer can come back as an officer after passing a test.

An officer suspended for more than four years would have to go through the police academy again, and a revocation is permanent and means the officer can never be a police officer again, Nigbur said.

Four of the officers worked in the jail and two worked in the patrol division. The sheriff's office is now looking to fill the vacancies created by the five resignations.

"We understand that we have a high standard to uphold," Monson said. "The department takes it very seriously, any misconduct. And we strive to uphold the public's trust. We just don't tolerate conduct that ... would do anything to jeopardize the community."

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