According to this Knoxville News Sentinel report, a state audit of the publicly funded "Sportsman's Wildlife Foundation" found numerous problems, but says steps are being taken to correct them. H.E. Bittle, head of the foundation, says "not a single penny was misspent."
The foundation is funded by sales of a specialty license plate. You may recall previous discussion about this here. Apparently, most of the funds have gone to build a luxury hunting lodge and payment of Bittle's salary. (Bittle sponsored the bill that created the specialty license plate and directed the proceeds to his foundation while he was a member of the Tennessee House.) The state audit recommends changes to state law to require better accounting of how such funds are spent.
Earlier this year, legislation was introduced to discontinue funding for the Sportsman's Wildlife Federation and instead allocate proceeds from the specialty license plate to TWRA for hunter education. Another bill would require the Secretary of State to verify the non-profit status of any organizations receiving funds from specialty license plate sales. More on those bills can be found at TennViews.
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