By Amye Anderson
UCBJ Managing Editor
COOKEVILLE – In a memorandum issued today, UCHRA’s Executive Director Luke Collins has announced he will be taking “family medical leave.”
In the letter, addressed to the agency’s board members, Collins also mentions the ongoing investigations into accusations that he forged his time sheets.
“I’m sure you share my disappointment in the recent lies in the media questioning my time spent at work,” Collins writes. “I look forward to meeting with you and discussing the issues raised. I’m confident that when we have the opportunity to discuss these matters in person, the air will be cleared and any board questions will be resolved.”
Collins then goes on to state he believes he is “operating in complete compliance with the spirit of the instructions I was given at the Dec. 4, 2012 board meeting regarding ‘comp’ time and for managing the balance between my regular work time and permissive time off. More on that later.”
Collins’ decision to take family medical leave stems from the additional care he and his family are providing to his mother, according to his statement.
“As most of you know, my mother’s health has been worsening daily, and my family and I are with her 24/7 now,” he writes. “For that reason, I have taken family medical leave to be with her.”
Despite the leave of absence, Collins says it is his intent to be present at the Feb. 20 board meeting but requested the board’s understanding should he be absent.
“It is my intent to try to make the meeting Tuesday, however, it is a day by day situation for my family right now,” he said. “To say that my mind is elsewhere is an understatement.”
“The questions raised recently in the media, and apparently by certain subordinates will be easily clarified at the appropriate time,” he added.
The UCHRA board is scheduled to meet Tuesday, Feb. 20.