Now a new leader has been appointed to set the LEA back on course.
Bangor-born former headteacher and RAF Wing Commander Huw Griffiths says his priority is "looking forwards not backwards". "This is a big job with a wide remit but I hope that my rounded background will be an asset," said Mr Griffiths, whose 29-year career has encompassed teaching, economic development and 18 years with the RAF. For a man who spent seven years as head of economic regeneration at Anglesey before coming to Denbighshire, Mr Griffiths may seem new to the education sector, but it's where his career began and where his passion lies - followed closely by his 900cc Triumph motorcycle and a three-acre plot in Conwy.
After graduating from the University of Wales at Aberystwyth, he became an economics and geography teacher, then headteacher of a service school in Oslo. Having managed an education and training service for 22,000 RAF personnel, he says he's done his time in education.
The father-of-three's priorities include modernisation, funding, and the role of the LEA in local delivery of services. Pupil behaviour is also an issue close to his heart and he plans to develop a unique countywide strategy to make schools safer.
"My main aim in this important job is to raise standards of education across Denbighshire," says Mr Griffiths.