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Utah Easter Seals in turmoil

OGDEN (AP) — The Utah branch of the Easter Seals is mired in financial trouble, and local management has been assumed by officials from the Arizona chapter, officials said.

Utah Easter Seals employees have gone weeks without paychecks, prompting the temporary takeover.

The chief executive officer of the Utah chapter, Richard Starley, resigned last month, and the vice president of programs and the development officer had their positions eliminated.

Managers from Easter Seals Arizona are handling the six Utah offices, in Salt Lake, Weber, Davis, Box Elder, Utah and Cache counties, until a plan of action is formed, said Sara Brewster, an Easter Seals vice president. Part of that work will be determining why there is financial trouble.

"Our affiliate in Arizona as well as our national people are there to review the situation and make some recommendations to determine the best course forward, so families and people with disabilities in Utah can continue to get the services they need," Brewster said.

Easter Seals is a national nonprofit organization that provides the disabled with services such as job training and recreation.

Brewster could not comment on whether there would be layoffs or more wage-payment delays.

The 30 employees were to receive a regular paycheck Friday, she said, and the remainder owed should be paid by the end of the year.

In the meantime, the Utah offices continue to operate.

"Our real concern is that the families getting services not be alarmed," Brewster said. "Their services will continue at this point. They don't need to be alarmed."