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George Park resigns from Carbon schools

George Park

Sun Advocate publisher

In a special Carbon School District board meeting held on Friday at 8 a.m., it was announced that under a confidential agreement with the board, Superintendent George Park has resigned.

Park, who had been on administrative leave since August was not present at the meeting.

"This was a confidential agreement between the Superintendent and the board," said board member Jeff Richens. "We cannot reveal the details of the agreement at this time nor can we as board members talk about it."

Park was placed on administrative leave after charges were brought against him by the Garfield County Attorney's office concerning the misuse of public funds that they claimed took place during his tenure as superintendent of the Garfield County School District. He was arrested in Price in August and booked, but never actually came to trial. The charges were dropped in early November, after the case had been turned over to the Washington County Attorney's office for prosecution.

Park was as of last week, however, still under investigation by the Utah Professional Practice Advisory Commission, a division of the Utah State Board of Education. Last Monday, lead investigator Jean Hill told the Sun Advocate that they had not finished their investigation and that it wouldn't be done until sometime in January.

The resignation came as a surprise to some since Park had been cleared of legal charges. However with the investigation of UPPAC on-going, there was some doubt as to what might happen. Hill told the Sun Advocate in November that the "burden of proof for what we do is different" than what it is in legal circles. The agency investigates individuals in terms of ethics violations.

The board said that it will be releasing a document later this week that will give more detail concerning the agreement with Park via a GRAMA request from the media. That document could come as early as Wednesday, but it may be Thursday before it is released.

The board also voted to make Patsy Bueno, the present acting superintendent, interim superintendent until the position was filled. Bueno was the superintendent for three years before Park was hired and as the logical candidate to fill in was brought back on a part time basis after Park was put on administrative leave.

Park's leave from the district was with pay from the August suspension until early October. Since then it has been with no pay.

Board members said the search for a new superintendent would begin sometime in January with hopes that they could choose a new person by the early spring.

Park's resignation will be effective as of Jan. 1, 2011.

The financial details of the agreement for his resignation are sealed within the confidential agreement.

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