has been named the new director of the Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP)
. The plan is a division of the Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority (UHEAA).
Ward replaces interim directors Mark Spencer, Richard Davis and Geri Peterson, interim executive director of the UHEAA, deputy director of finance and administration of the UHEAA, and outreach manager of the UESP, respectively.
The three were called on to take over the position after a state audit revealed in July that
former plan director Dale Hatch
had transferred more than $80,000 from the plan's administrative assets into personal accounts. Hatch was fired in July.
Spokesman Dave Buhler said that the State Auditor may issue a report late this week or early next week.
Ward will take on the role full-time on January 3, doing double-duty at the UESP and in her current role as deputy chief of staff to the governor beginning on October 1.
The Utah Educational Savings Plan has more than $790 million in assets in 48,000 accounts.
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