Smokies' Cassius Cash gets temp DC assignment

Cassius Cash, superintendent of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is being assigned temporarily to oversee the National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington, D.C., according to the National Park Service.

Cash starts Sept. 18, according to the Park Service. Gay Vietzke, the former Washington superintendent, has moved to oversee the service's Northeast Region.

A native of Memphis, Cash has overseen Smokies park operations since early 2015.

According to the Park Service, Cash faces a 120-day detail.

More: Report evaluates park's response to fire

Clay Jordan, deputy park superintendent, will be acting chief in Cash's absence.

Cash was asked several weeks ago to take on the temporary assignment because he has experience with urban parks, according to the Park Service. He came to the Smokies after a hitch as superintendent for the Boston National Historical Park and Boston African American National Historic Site, which includes sites along the Freedom Trail of American landmarks.

He was in Boston about five years.

Cash's tenure with the Smokies has included Park Service centennial events and the wildfire disaster that started as an arson Nov. 23, 2016, at the popular Chimney Tops 2 site.

Last week, the Park Service released a comprehensive, internal review of how the fire was handled. The report found that "preparedness and planning weaknesses" hindered the response by park personnel to the blaze. But it also concluded there was no negligence on the park's behalf in how personnel tried to stop the fire.

© 2017 WBIR.COM


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