State officials say an announcement is imminent in the investigation of alleged misuse of public money at the Timpanogos Mental Health Center in Provo.

But the probe into the misuse of $3.5 million did not end by mid-October as hoped by Utah Attorney General David Wilkinson.Wilkinson said last month he hoped to decide whether to file charges in the case by mid-October. His political opponent, Democratic candidate Paul Van Dam, had accused him of stalling the investigation for political gain.

"There won't be any charges filed today," Chief Deputy Attorney General Paul Warner said Friday. "We hope to be able to make an announcement very soon."

Warner did not say whether charges would be filed. He said he expected the announcement to come within the next two weeks, which would be before the election Nov. 8.

"I wish I could tell you more, but this is very sensitive right now," he said.

Wilkinson originally predicted the investigation would be completed in early September. Last month he said he was waiting for the Department of Social Services to complete an audit of the center.

Wilkinson has denied he is trying to gain political mileage by delaying the charges. He also denied rumors he already has decided to charge or clear certain people in connection with the alleged thefts.

State auditors released a report in April showing that administrators of the center may have misused $3.5 million in public money during the last four years. The top eight administrators at the center were accused of padding their salaries in a variety of ways.

The largest apparent abuse involved a youth program director whose 1987 compensation totaled more than $700,000 despite a base salary of only $47,627.