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Dozens Show Up To Bid On 'Living The Dream' Furnishings

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Photo: Video by NewsChannel5.com

Dozens Show Up To Bid On 'Living The Dream' Furnishings

CREATED Apr 19, 2014
by Jason Lamb

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Chairs, tables, beds and other furnishings from inside a million-dollar rural Putnam County home at the center of a months-long NewsChannel 5 investigation went on the auction block Saturday.

The Mediterranean-style home, named “Living the Dream,” was purchased with public funds by the Upper Cumberland Development District.  The agency’s intention was to use the home as a place for needy seniors to live.

But an exclusive NewsChannel 5 investigation uncovered that the mansion had eventually also become the home of UCDD Director Wendy Askins, who also used UCDD public money to buy her own furnishings for it.  Askins eventually resigned as UCDD director.

Saturday, the auctioneer running the sale estimated 150 people had showed up, trying to bid on all sorts of belongings from inside the home – a chance for UCDD to get back some of the money the agency had lost.  Some of the auction items included a specially-made mirror with the words “Living the Dream” emblazoned across the front and a fireplace Askins had installed in her own bedroom, using UCDD funds.

“They've advertised this as living the dream and a lot of people just want a piece of it,” said Danny Curtis, one of the people attending the auction.  “They just want something to remember.”

“I think the curiosity brought them out as much as anything,” said Lee Amonett, the auctioneer.  “I think everybody's ready to put this chapter behind us and look forward to a positive spin on the property.”

As of Sunday, the Bank of Putnam County is taking over the Living the Dream property. It goes up for auction next month.

Askins herself goes on trial in July on federal charges.



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