Wendy Askins has lost her effort to get a Putnam County judge to dismiss criminal charges against her.
Askins was the former head of the Upper Cumberland Development District in Cookeville.
Our investigation revealed how Askins poured more than a million dollars of agency money into a home she called "Living the Dream."
Askins had argued that her rights were violated by the agency's lawyers, who she thought were representing her, when they gave prosecutors an audio recording of a meeting with her.
But Circuit Court Judge David Patterson ruled that the lawyers "did nothing to cause the Defendant to believe a personal legal representation existed."
"The Defendant has no basis to claim an attorney-client relationship," Patterson wrote. "The Court finds that the Defendant's motion is without merit."
A hearing will be held later this month to set a new trial date.
Askins faces charges of theft, money laundering and forgery.