Payson Officer Protests His Demotion For Off-Duty Actions

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The appeal process for Payson Police Lt. Donny Garvin, who was demoted to sergeant last month for off-duty conduct, remains ongoing.

Garvin’s attorney, Martin Bihn, said he could not go into details surrounding the case, but said Police Chief Don Engler demoted Garvin for reportedly violating the department’s code of conduct and behaving in a way that “was unbecoming to the department.”

No specific code was cited for Garvin’s demotion. The demotion reputedly had nothing to do with Garvin’s performance as a lieutenant, but misuse of a police-issued cell phone.

“Nothing he did was on duty,” Bihn said. “I am confident once all the facts are out, the hearing officer (Ron McDaniel) will take appropriate action, whatever that is,” Bihn said.

The town’s personnel hearing officer hears all appeal hearings in a closed session. Garvin’s appeal hearing is Aug. 31.

Following the hearing, McDaniel will make a recommendation to the Payson Town Council which will then vote on Sept. 16 or Oct. 7.

Garvin was promoted to lieutenant in June of 2008. He was voted law enforcement officer of the year by Roundup readers for nine consecutive years.

The Roundup obtained specific details on the allegations against Garvin, but chose not to write about them until the appeals process is complete.

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