Don Muller, interim assistant director at Timpanogos Community Mental Health Center, will take over Aug. 1 as the center's new executive director.

The Timp Mental Health Authority board was scheduled to make the announcement Wednesday morning during a Utah County Commission meeting. An announcement was made to employees earlier in the day.Commissioners from Wasatch, Summit and Utah counties interviewed five candidates at the authority board's monthly meeting Tuesday.

"Any one of those five was capable to run the center, especially in a crisis situation. But Don was chosen because he exhibited good people skills, personnel skills and public awareness skills," Utah County Commissioner Gary Anderson said.

"He knows mental health, and we have a high level of confidence in him."

Muller will take over a center that faces personnel, program and fiscal problems. The center's previous director, Glen Brown, resigned several months ago following allegations that he and six other administrators had misused more than $3.5 million in public funds.

Muller has been with the state Division of Mental Health for more than 13 years. Most recently he has worked as a government liaison for the division. He is also a certified clinician.

A committee, which included Utah County Commissioner Malcolm Beck and several interim management team members, screened 100 applicants earlier this month and narrowed the field to 15. The 15 then were narrowed to five finalists.

Interim Director David Dangerfield will stay on board for a short period to help in the transition, Anderson said. Dangerfield also will submit a transition report before leaving the center.

Dangerfield said Tuesday that he wants county commissioners to know that he enjoyed the challenge of working as interim director at Timp Mental Health.

"My job was to point out to you as best I could the problem areas and the corrective actions to take. I hope that over the last 90 days I've been able to do that."

"I literally don't know what we would have done without Dr. Dangerfield and the rest of the interim management team. The nuts and bolts of the crisis were handled superbly," Anderson said.

Dangerfield and a number of mental health officials from entities throughout the state went to work at the center after a legislative audit found that more than $3.5 million in public funds had been misused in a four-year period.