A dispute is brewing over the reason two auditors have been fired by the Utah State Board of Education.

Board members say Kent Mohlman and Tim Salazar were let go May 1 because the board wanted a change of direction that would bring more efficiency.

Mohlman and Salazar say the abrupt dismissals stem from their opposition to limits on their independent monitoring of Utah's educational system. The men expressed those concerns in a letter to the board before the May 1 meeting.

Mohlman had worked for the state board for more than 18 years. Salazar had been with the office for about a year.

Board chairwoman Debra Roberts says the letter is unrelated to the decision. Roberts says the board wants auditors focused on risk-analysis and performance audits, rather than just finances.