Former Executive Director Of Upper Cumberland Development District Indicted On State Charges

Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Wendy Askins
Wendy Askins

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s case against the former executive director of the Upper Cumberland Development District resulted in a grand jury indictment against her on Tuesday for taking money from the Upper Cumberland Development District to use toward the Living the Dream home, a home built as an independent living home for middle income seniors in Putnam County.

Wendy Askins, 52, of Cookeville, Tn. was indicted by the Putnam County grand jury on one count of theft over $60,000, one count of money laundering and one count of forgery. While employed as the executive director, Ms. Askins inserted into the Feb. 16, 2010, Upper Cumberland Development District board meeting minutes a paragraph stating that $300,000 was to be transferred to the Cumberland Regional Development District for an independent living home. 

The TBI’s investigation revealed that the transfer of funds was never discussed at the meeting. Ms. Askins transferred $300,000 out of the Upper Cumberland Development District account and used the money for the Living the Dream home. The home was built to provide an independent living environment to middle income seniors in the area. 

Although Ms. Askins had a residence in Putnam County, she and her daughter used the Living the Dream home as their primary residence. 

The TBI investigated the case with the Office of the Attorney General and the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office.

The UCDD employed Ms. Askins as its executive director for 17 years prior her being released from the position. 

Ms. Askins turned herself in on the charges Tuesday at the Putnam County jail and was released on a $25,000 bond. She is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 12.


DesJarlais Announces Support For American Health Care Act

Congressman Scott DesJarlais, M.D., a member of the House Freedom Caucus and GOP Doctors Caucus, announced his support for the American Health Care Act, Republicans’ Obamacare repeal-and-replace legislation, now including waivers for states to opt out of expensive federal regulations, driving up the cost of health insurance in Tennessee.   Rep. DesJarlais said, " ... (click for more)

Grand Jury No Bills And True Bills

Here are the latest no bills and true bills from the Hamilton County Grand Jury: No Bills: HUMPHERY, JOE JUNIOR B 39 M 0 1 GS 1653765 POSS OF COCAINE FOR RESALE HYMES, RODNEY DEWAYNE B 49 M 0 1 GS 1650788 AGGRAVATED ASSAULT HYMES, RODNEY DEWAYNE B 49 M 0 2 GS 1650790 POSS. COCAINE FOR RESALE HYMES, RODNEY DEWAYNE B 49 M 0 3 GS 1650791 POSS. MARIHUANA FOR RESALE ... (click for more)

Don't Clog Up The Last Remaining Semi-Unobstructed Route Into Town From North Of The River - And Response (2)

The proposal to turn Hixson Pike in Riverview into a more pedestrian friendly street is more than absurd.   Let's be honest. This is the last semi-unobstructed route into town from north of the river, due to I-27 construction and the bike lane/parking lot that is North Market Street.  So, now the businesses in Riverview would like parking on this main artery? ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A One-Sided Opportunity

State education commissioner Candace McQueen has apparently fallen and hit her head. She most certainly needs to be examined after she came to Chattanooga on Monday and told the Times-Free Press about an exciting “partnership.” Are you kidding me? Despite the newspaper’s editors actually touting the venture as “promising,” the lady is clearly dancing by herself. With her Achievement ... (click for more)

Sales' Grand Slam Leads Lady Owls To 6-2 Comeback Win

Cheyenne Sales came close to hitting two home runs on Tuesday. She atoned for those close calls a day later with a grand slam in a five-run fourth inning and powered Ooltewah to a 6-2 victory over gritty East Hamilton in District 5-3A softball action at Jim Lovell Field. “That’s the first grand slam I’ve hit this season,” said Sales, who finished with five RBIs. “The pitch ... (click for more)

Red Bank's Kendall Farr Hurls No-Hitter Against Tyner

Kendall Farr was on the money Wednesday afternoon as she hurled a no-hitter and struck out seven as the Red Bank Lionettes blanked Tyner, 10-0, in six innings. Kelsey Peden and Destiny Painter both had two RBIs for the Lionettes while Hannah Wood had a triple and Sami Shrader a double.  Peden also had a double. With Farr improving to 3-2 on the season,, Red Bank finished ... (click for more)