Wendy Askins Resigns As Executive Director Of UCDD
By Phil Williams Chief Investigative Reporter
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Wendy Askins resigned Tuesday morning as executive director of the Upper Cumberland Development District following a series of reports by NewsChannel 5 Investigates.
Askins appeared before an investigative committee of the UCDD board that was scheduled to meet in closed session with lawyers hired by the agency.
"I find this resignation necessary because of the firestorm that has been created by Channel 5 News media and a few other individuals in regards to the project ‘Living the Dream,'" Askins said, reading from a prepared resignation letter.
Our NewsChannel 5 investigation exposed how the agency spent more than a million dollars on a dream house that was supposed to become a retirement home for needy seniors. But it also became Askins' own luxurious home, including a place to stable her family's horses.
"I feel that this slanted publicity has harmed this organization and has harmed me in my position as the executive director to the point where I can no longer be effective," she continued.
Our investigation also revealed how Askins tried to avoid questions about some of that spending by providing NewsChannel 5 with a bogus set of minutes -- which she then convinced her own board to retroactively approve.
There were also questions about checks she wrote to herself as well as her family. There was even money spent on a political fundraiser.
"I admit that I have made some mistakes and also made some errors in judgment," Askins said. "I emphatically deny, however, that I have ever personally profited in any way in carrying out my duties."
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