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.


Top Hamilton County Salaries

Here are the top salaries for Hamilton County: METCALFE, JAMES K MEDCIAL EXAMINER $186,175 ... (click for more)

Top City Of Chattanooga Salaries

Here are the top salaries for the city of Chattanooga: Bean, Russell J       City Judge        $170,537.41 Paty, Sherry B City Judge        $170,537.41 Berke, Andrew L.        Mayor  $161,030 Fletcher, Frederick Allen Police Chief     ... (click for more)

A Disturbing Trend At Exit 11 - And Response (6)

So, am I the first to notice a trend?   How many wrecks does exit 11 need before anyone asks "whats up with that?"  I have lost count of the wrecks that continue to happen, even after last year's awful loss of life (which I believe 51 percent of the blame should fall on the THP officer on duty).  The problem with this section of interstate are sight lines ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Garden This July

I can never remember a day in July when my garden, my lawn, my dogwood tree, and my ferns are all wilting for lack of rain. Right now we are more than eight inches under our average rainfall for the first six months and, on this wonderful weekend, those who love firecrackers are urged to keep a pail of water in case a spark could cause a fire. On the other hand, every July 4 th ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Whips Dalton For Top Spot In Blue

The Signal Mountain Green Giants have the upper hand in the Chattanooga Area Swim League’s highly-competitive Blue division and the clinched at least a tie for first place with Thursday’s win over Dalton, but they’ll have to wait until Tuesday before the championship celebration can officially begin. The Green Giants lost to Dalton by 15 points at Dalton in the first week of ... (click for more)

Travis Hale New Softball Coach At Soddy-Daisy

Travis Hale, who spent one year under Wes Skiles being groomed for the job, has been named the new softball coach at Soddy-Daisy High School. Hale, who previously was an assistant coach at Hixson and head coach at Loftis Middle School, was groomed for the job last season working under coach Wes Skiles, who has stepped down after four seasons. “I focused on paying ... (click for more)