Several audits of finances at Utah's 11 mental health centers have disappeared, and the state auditor who prepared the audit reports says they have been destroyed.

Ron Day, a former auditor for the Utah Department of Social Services, said that before he resigned last December all his reports were placed under lock and key. Day said he had given extra copies to his supervisors."Co-workers told me the reports have been destroyed," Day said. "I trust their word." He said three reports had been located.

Missing reports prepared by Day and former state auditor Mike Smith looked at Salt Lake and Davis mental health centers and also at the embattled Timpanogos Mental Health Center.

Timpanogos came under fire last month from legislative auditors for mismanagement and misuse of public funds totaling $3.5 million.

Day and Smith questioned the legality of surplus funds and had recommended that large fund balances not spent by the year's end for client care be returned to state coffers.

"Basically, the mental health centers weren't using money as the Legislature had intended," Smith said. "The money was allocated for client care but it wasn't going there."

But Keith Stroud, director of the Division of Mental Health, said that unlike cities and towns, it's not illegal for mental health centers to maintain large fund balances. He said the Legislature lifted fund balance restrictions against mental health centers as an incentive for the agencies to collect more revenues.