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State Auditor John Dougall steps down as AISU interim director

The American International School of Utah in Murray is pictured on Friday, May 3, 2019.
FILE - The American International School of Utah in Murray is pictured on Friday, May 3, 2019. Utah State Auditor John Dougall, appointed interim executive director of the shuttered American International School of Utah on July 16, on Monday notified the new directors of the public charter school of his resignation.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah State Auditor John Dougall, appointed interim executive director of the shuttered American International School of Utah on July 16 by the State Charter School Board, has notified the new directors of the public charter school of his resignation.

In a letter dated July 22, Dougall wrote that his service is complete now that a new board of directors is in place.

The remaining board members resigned last week after the State Charter School Board voted to remove executive director Tasi Young and appoint Dougall as interim director.

Royce Van Tassell, executive director of the Utah Association of Public Charter Schools, was appointed chairman of the school's governing board last week and asked to appoint three new directors.

Dougall's letter to AISU chairman Van Tassell said, "It has been an honor to work with you during the past three business days. We have all been able to advance key aspects of the AISU liquidation plan and to protect key assets on behalf of taxpayers."

Van Tassell said the board continues to work through the school's closure process.

It has returned $107,000 in restricted funds to the Utah State Board of Education, Van Tassel said.

AISU has also returned three school buses and six vans to the State School Board to liquidate and direct the proceeds to what the school owes to the state for federal and state special education funds that state officials say in prior fiscal years were spent inappropriately or there was no proper documentation.

The board is also negotiating with other creditors, including its landlord Schoolhouse Development LLC and American International School LLC, said Van Tassell, who is executive director of the Utah Association of Public Charter Schools.

"My sense is that we can come to something that everyone can agree to and be comfortable with by the end of the month," he said.

Otherwise, the board is attending to school housekeeping issues such as distributing yearbooks to students, he said.

Meanwhile, other activities such as the school's annual report and program report will be completed during the fall, he said.

An audit of the school by the Utah State Auditor's Office is underway.

The school's directors voted in May to close AISU amid growing concerns about its financial viability. The school, which was open for five years, closed in June following its final graduation.

AISU was described on its former website as a "public-private hybrid STEAM international charter school." It had a partnership with Realms of Inquiry, a private school also located at 4998 S. Galleria Drive, the site of the former 49th Street Galleria.

Correction: An earlier version of this story said AISU returned $170,000 in unrestricted funds to the state. The correct amount was $107,000. The school also returned three school buses and six school vans to the state. The earlier story did not specify the number of buses and mentioned just one van.