Former UCDD Officials Appear in Federal Court

September 29, 2013
Dwayne Page

Former UCDD officials Wendy Askins and Larry Webb appeared in federal court Friday in Nashville to formally enter not guilty pleas to charges against them stemming from the Living the Dream investigation.

Askins is represented by Nashville attorney Peter Strianse while former U.S. Attorney Ed Yarbrough is Webb's lawyer.

DeKalb County Mayor Mike Foster, a former UCDD board chairman, who is also under indictment in the case, appeared without an attorney. Foster is trying to hire former U.S. Attorney, Hal Hardin, to represent him.

Askins, Webb, and Foster surrendered to U.S. marshals Friday after being indicted by a federal grand jury on Wednesday.

Askins, the former UCDD Executive Director, and Webb, her assistant face several federal charges, including conspiracy, bank fraud and money laundering.

Foster is charged with one count of making false statements.

Yarbrough told NewsChannel 5 that Webb plans to stand by his plea of not guilty to the charges against him. "I would have to say from seeing the indictment that it's going to require a good deal on our part," Yarbrough said. "Certainly Mr. Webb intends to stand by his plea of not guilty and, if necessary, will go to trial to show that he is not guilty of these offenses."

As for Askins, Strianse said he believes "the proof is going to show in this case that there is not a penny of any government money that went into Ms. Askins pocket."

While he did not enter a formal plea, Foster said he's shocked by this indictment and really does not believe that he has done anything wrong.

No word yet on when the cases might go to trial.

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