The Charges Against Ward Akers, Part II
Last week, we started the story of the charges against Ward Akers, a topic we have been asked about several times. On July 1, 1975, Larry Brinton in the Nashville Banner raised questions concerning Akers’ salary, nepotism in the Council office, and some generally questionable practices of the Council, specifically concerning trips and reimbursements. And that was all in one article.
Despite a strong defense from Council President C. A. “Neal” Craig II, Brinton wasn’t done. On the 3rd, Brinton called out the Council again. In addition to summarizing the original issues, Brinton went on to call out the Council for it’s approach to the accusations. Brinton was irked that the Council chose NOT to do an investigation and instead hoped the issue would disappear as people enjoyed the July Fourth holiday. To that end, he reported, the Council would no longer discuss the issue with the press. Brinton was not going to let the issue fade away.
Then came the second bomb, shown here. On July 8th, after the July Fourth holiday, Brinton ran a third article, again on the front page of the Banner. This time the charge was unequivocal: the Council had “a policy against any professional staff executive holding an outside job or having another business interest.” And yet, Ward Akers was a founder and partner in a corporation that purchased a private camp in Quebeck, Tennessee. For those who don’t know, Quebeck is right around the corner from Rock Island. And the private camp in question was literally down the river from the previous Boxwell, a camp called Hy-Lake.
To add insult to injury, Akers continued to own 20 percent in the camp AND Hy-Lake was run by one of Akers’ sons, Ward C. Akers. Brinton presented this revelation as even unknown to Craig, who was told in between phone calls with the reporter by Akers, who was in the room listening.
The pressure was on to do something… More on that next week.