Interim UCDD Director Delivers Explosive Resignation - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

NewsChannel 5 Investigates: UCDD

Interim UCDD Director Delivers Explosive Resignation

Posted: Updated:

By Phil Williams
Chief Investigative Reporter

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- A longtime Upper Cumberland Development District employee has abruptly quit as UCDD's interim director, delivering an explosive resignation letter that blames the agency's board for much of its financial problems.

Earl Carwile was named to the post back in February amid a financial scandal uncovered by NewsChannel 5 Investigates that later led to the resignation of UCDD boss Wendy Askins.

"It is clear that this board does not have the best interest of the agency's employees or those which are served throughout the Upper Cumberland region in mind when making decisions for future success," Carwile wrote in a letter delivered Thursday to UCDD board members.

"I have been a faithful employee of UCDD for over 16 years; however, I will not continue to be associated with such an organization."

Carwile's letter accused board members of ignoring warnings about financial improprieties during Askins' tenure and continuing to lead a campaign to root out NewsChannel 5's sources.

It follows a UCDD board meeting last week where Carwile expressed frustration over the decision by board chairman Mike Foster and other board members to hire former agency employee Amanda Mainord as an independent contractor to handle grants for their counties.

The board voted that Mainord could take what Carwile estimates to be $135,000 in profits from grants she worked while she was at UCDD.

"I personally don't agree with the decision that you just made, but that's my opinion," he told the board after the vote.

Reached by telephone late Thursday, Foster said that Mainord got so frustrated with the environment inside the agency that she left. Still, he said it just made good sense to let her continue working with his county and other counties so those projects are not affected.

In addition, Carwile's letter noted Foster's frequent complaints he has been personally burned by the UCDD scandal.

"Mr. Foster, I am certainly apologetic that you continue to 'have problems' with the agency and your hand has been burned," Carwile wrote. "However, you should identify that you and others have enabled all actions to occur that have caused you to 'get burnt.'"

Carwile said one UCDD employee warned at least two board members that there was serious financial and legal problems at that Living the Dream mansion -- long before the controversy erupted.

"She was told that there was nothing to worry about by those board members," the letter claimed. "Should these names need to be unveiled" -- referring to the board members -- "that certainly is not a problem."

Foster insisted that he was not one of those board members. Still, he said that he asked Carwile and co-director Ashley Pealer why they did not bring their own concerns to the board.

"They said they didn't trust the board -- so I don't trust them," Foster said.

And just like Foster's earlier complaints about wanting to know who inside UCDD might have stirred up the controversy, Carwile's letter suggested that's continuing.

"The bigger problem is that you and others continue to focus on 'who contacted the media' and 'who took information out'? Both items listed are things that may never be disclosed, and falsely accusing staff will provide you with even greater problems and will never allow for success to occur at this agency."

For his part, Foster denied that accusation.

"This is absolutely not about who took what to Channel 5," he insisted.

E-mail: pwilliams@newschannel5.com

Read Earl Carwile's resignation letter

More stories, documents:
NewsChannel 5 Investigates: UCDD

Tell Us What You Think!
On Facebook:
NewsChannel 5 Investigates
NC5_Phil Williams

On Twitter:
@NC5Investigates
@NC5PhilWilliams

Back to NewsChannel 5 Investigates

  • NewsChannel 5 InvestigatesMore>>

  • NewsChannel 5 Investigates:

    NewsChannel 5 Receives Prestigious Peabody Award

    NewsChannel 5 Receives Prestigious Peabody Award

    April 2, 2014 01:22 PM 2014-04-02 19:05:51 GMT
    NewsChannel 5 and the NewsChannel 5 Investigates team have been honored with one of broadcasting's highest honors, the coveted George Foster Peabody Award, for an on-going investigation of Tennessee state government.more>>
    NewsChannel 5 and the NewsChannel 5 Investigates team have been awarded one of broadcasting's highest honors, the coveted George Foster Peabody Award, for an on-going investigation of Tennessee state government, it was announced Wednesday.more>>
  • NC5 Investigates: Economic Incentives

    UAW: 'Ball Is Back In The Governor's Court'

    UAW: 'Ball Is Back In The Governor's Court'

    Monday, April 21 2014 7:31 PM EDT2014-04-21 23:31:06 GMT
    The United Auto Workers ended one battle Monday, but the struggle to represent Volkswagen workers appears to be far from over. And union officials promised to turn up the heat in Congress over how the Haslam administration used your money.more>>
    The United Auto Workers ended one battle Monday, but the struggle to represent Volkswagen workers appears to be far from over. And union officials promised to turn up the heat in Congress over how the Haslam administration used your money.more>>
  • NC5 Investigates: Economic Incentives

    UAW Drops Appeal Of Volkswagen Vote

    UAW Drops Appeal Of Volkswagen Vote

    The United Auto Workers has dropped its appeal of the February vote that it lost to unionize workers at Volkswagen’s plant in Chattanooga, the UAW announced Monday morning.more>>
    The United Auto Workers has dropped its appeal of the February vote that it lost to unionize workers at Volkswagen’s plant in Chattanooga, the UAW announced Monday morning.more>>
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 NewsChannel 5 (WTVF-TV) and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.