Timeline: UCDD Investigation
Wendy Askins, the former director of the Upper Cumberland Development District in Cookeville, is scheduled to go on trial in federal court in December 2014. Here are the stories that led to her indictment.
A four-month NewsChannel 5 investigation has uncovered a government-subsidized project like you've probably never seen. It now has some folks asking whether the woman behind it is living the dream.
There are new questions about how some documents disappeared from a Cookeville-based government agency, while someone created bogus ones for NewsChannel 5 Investigates.
NewsChannel 5 Investigates has uncovered even more incredible spending at the Upper Cumberland Development District. It's spending that does nothing for the people who really need the help.
Lawmakers are now promising a full investigation of what some are calling a full-blown scandal involving the Upper Cumberland Development District. It follows an exclusive NewsChannel 5 investigation.
A report by state regulators raises some serious questions about potential conflicts of interests with that million-dollar Living the Dream facility near Cookeville.
The controversy over the Upper Cumberland Development District took a new turn Friday as the head of that agency took to a radio station to defend herself, but her answers raised even more questions.
UCDD executive director Wendy Askins gave a radio interview on Friday, Feb. 17, to Cookeville talk show host Dwight Henry of WHUB-AM. Here are some of the claims made by Ms. Askins.
Less than a week after the first stories aired, the board of the Upper Cumberland, Development District has called an emergency meeting to figure out what to do next.
A NewsChannel 5 investigation has discovered that the Upper Cumberland Development District that was supposed to be helping the poor may have also been helping the family of the woman who runs it.
Lawmakers Question 'Living The Dream' Funding
State lawmakers want to know who paid for Living the Dream. Questions about that million-dollar house in Putnam County came up Wednesday at a budget hearing.
A lot of eyes will be on the Upper Cumberland Development District Friday morning. That's when its board meets in emergency session to deal with the fallout from an exclusive NewsChannel 5 investigation.
UCDD Board Puts Askins, Deputy On Administrative Leave
The head of the Upper Cumberland Development District, along with her top assistant, were suspended Friday -- with some of the agency's board members demanding that she be fired.
People from across Middle Tennessee crammed into a small meeting room to see how the board would react to the spending uncovered by NewsChannel 5 Investigates.
The board that oversees the Upper Cumberland Development District is pointing the finger at their own auditor. They want to know how he missed all the misspending uncovered by NewsChannel 5 Investigates.
On Friday, the UCDD board suspended its longtime executive director and voted to report its own auditor for a possible state investigation. But where was the board when all this was going on?
NewsChannel 5 Investigates has uncovered yet another questionable transaction involving the controversial head of the UCDD. But this time, instead of a mansion, it involves a gazebo.
Cookeville's DA has asked for a special prosecutor to decide whether criminal charges should be brought over allegations surrounding the Upper Cumberland Development District.
NewsChannel 5 has learned that investigators from two federal agencies are now taking an interest in the UCDD scandal. And the woman at the center of that controversy has now hired a lawyer.
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 help the poor.
NewsChannel 5 Investigates has uncovered even more questions about checks written to UCDD executive director Wendy Askins' family and about furniture that no one can find.
Wendy Askins resigned Tuesday morning as executive director of the Upper Cumberland Development District following a series of reports by NewsChannel 5 Investigates.
A lawyer for the Upper Cumberland Development District had some bad news today for the board that oversees the Cookeville-based agency.
Wendy Askins resigned as she faced an investigation into the mismanagement of UCDD funds. Now she has filed for unemployment pay, claiming that she was the victim of a hostile work environment.
The former head of the Upper Cumberland Development District has failed in her effort to get more of your tax money.
UCDD officials are facing bills of almost a quarter of a million dollars from their own lawyers, as a result of the scandal that engulfed the Cookeville agency.
A longtime Upper Cumberland Development District employee has abruptly quit as UCDD's interim director, delivering an explosive resignation letter that blames the agency's board for much of its financial problems.
There are serious allegations about a vendetta now being waged inside the troubled Upper Cumberland Development District by allies of the longtime director who was forced to resign.
The UCDD board held a special meeting to discuss the recent firings of two longtime employees. But, in the end, the board's chairman refused to let the board take any votes.
The former interim director of the Upper Cumberland Development District says he was put in a no-win situation when he took over the troubled agency.
A federal lawsuit accuses top officials of the Upper Cumberland Development District of illegally hacking into the personal messages of an employee who refused to go along with the wrongdoing.
An attorney for Wendy Askins claims state auditors have found very little in their investigation of the scandal involving the Upper Cumberland Development District.
After months of scandal, the Upper Cumberland Development District could get a chance for a fresh start. The UCDD meets Tuesday afternoon to pick a new executive director.
The Upper Cumberland Development District has a new boss, and he said that he's got a plan to steer the Cookeville-based agency through its troubled waters.
Two former employees of the Upper Cumberland Development District have settled their lawsuit against the Cookeville-based agency.
Another Cookeville-based government agency faces serious questions about how it spent the public's money. The Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency is a sister agency to UCDD.
A just-released state audit confirms blatant misspending and other questionable conduct inside the Upper Cumberland Development District, putting most of the blame on longtime UCDD executive director Wendy Askins.
Following the latest report on the Upper Cumberland Development District issued by the Tennessee Comptroller's Office, Rep. Ryan Williams (R-Cookeville) issued the following statement.
There's evidence that the FBI is intensifying its investigation into the Upper Cumberland Development District.
Now the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the state Attorney General's Office have joined the FBI in taking a hard look at Cookeville-based agency.
The federal and state criminal investigation of the Upper Cumberland Development District appears to be heating up again.
Prosecutors are preparing to present the case involving the Upper Cumberland Development District and Wendy Askins to a federal grand jury.
There were new developments Wednesday in the case involving Wendy Askins and the Upper Cumberland Development District in Cookeville.
A federal grand jury has indicted three former officials from the Upper Cumberland Development District as part of a wide-ranging conspiracy into the misappropriation of federal funds by the Cookeville-based agency.
Not guilty! That was the plea entered Friday by two former officials of the Upper Cumberland Development District in Cookeville.
A Putnam County grand jury has indicted the former head of the Upper Cumberland Development District (UCDD) on state charges, including theft over $60,000, forgery and money laundering.
A trial date has been set in the federal case against Wendy Askins, the former head of the Upper Cumberland Development District indicted on charges related to a million-dollar home in rural Putnam County.
Federal prosecutors have agreed to drop criminal charges against Dekalb County Mayor Mike Foster. It's part of the on-going case involving the Upper Cumberland Development District.
He had faced five years in federal prison as part of the scandal involving Wendy Askins and the Upper Cumberland Development District. But now DeKalb County Mayor Mike Foster is planning for the future.
The house once known as "Living the Dream" is being prepared for auction. The Putnam County house stood at the center of the scandal involving the Upper Cumberland Development District.
If you want a piece of "NewsChannel 5 Investigates" history, you'll be interested in an auction happening Saturday. On the auction block: items from the "Living the Dream" investigation.