Lawmakers Eye Special Committee After UCDD Scandal

Lawmakers Eye Special Committee After UCDD Scandal

By Phil Williams. CREATED Mar 8, 2012

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The scandal involving the Upper Cumberland Development District now has lawmakers considering a special legislative committee to investigate other agencies that were also set up years ago to create jobs and help the poor.

It comes as those lawmakers are getting an earful from their constituents following a NewsChannel 5 investigation.

"I would say the tone is frustrated," said Rep. Ryan Williams, R-Cookeville.

Williams said that voters are concerned about what's gone on inside UCDD offices.

He says what our investigation discovered about wild spending there has led him to draft legislation asking for a committee to study how other agencies just like UCDD spend their money.

"Do you fear that this is a scandal that's bigger than UCDD?" NewsChannel 5 Investigates asked.

"I think the truth is that it could be," Williams answered. "I don't know that it is, and I don't think we will know until we are able to study it."

If approved, that committee would hold hearings beginning this summer.

"I think most people want a fix now," the Republican lawmaker added. "It is very difficult, as you well know, very difficult to find one now. It's going to take some time."

That bill could come up as early as next week.

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Phil Williams

Phil Williams

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Phil Williams is chief investigative reporter for NewsChannel 5's nationally award-winning investigative team. His investigations have earned him journalism's highest honors.