Nashville mayor quits over bodyguard sex scandal

Danny Woods
March 7, 2018

Megan Barry announced her resignation Tuesday on Twitter, following several weeks of controversy after she admitted to having an affair with her old head of security.

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, the now-former mayor of Nashville, pleaded guilty in Davidson County court on Tuesday, March 6, to felony theft charges.

"It has been the honor and it has been the privilege of my entire professional life to have had the blessing of this opportunity to be your mayor", Barry said in a written statement she posted online.

Barry and Forrest made 10 trips together with no one else from the Mayor's office in attendance.

A day later, Funk announced he was requesting the TBI to investigate whether Barry or Forrest had misused taxpayer money during that affair.

She faces three years of unsupervised probation and must reimburse the city $11,000 for what prosecutors called "unlawful expenditures".

She said nothing illegal happened and no policies were violated. The documents do not say the woman is Barry.

Ms. Barry, 54, a former corporate ethics and compliance officer, was known for her outspoken support of abortion rights and same-sex marriage.

Vice Mayor David Briley was sworn in as Nashville Mayor after Megan Barry's resignation
Vice Mayor David Briley was sworn in as Nashville Mayor after Megan Barry's resignation

An affidavit filed with the warrant said nude photos taken from the phone of Forrest are evidence Barry engaged in the affair while he was on duty.

The mayor's willingness to talk about her only son's fatal drug overdose last summer engendered sympathy from residents.

Barry said their affair began in the spring of 2016, according to court papers.

Metro Nashville Police Rob Forrest and Megan Barry in their mugshots.

The mayor's office has denied any indication that she misused travel time or taxpayers' money due to their relationship. She admitted to stealing thousands of dollars while carrying on her affair with Forrest, though the details of how she stole the money is now unknown.

According to the Tennessean, Barry and Forrest attended 10 city-funded trips by themselves, including conferences to Paris, Greece and Washington, D.C. Forrest earned $173,843 in overtime from July 2015 to January of this year, records show.

Barry, who took office in 2015, was a liberal darling, with a Vanderbilt University poll showing her approval rating at 61 percent even after admitting to the affair.

Vice Mayor David Briley will be sworn in as mayor on Tuesday afternoon, according to a statement from his office. A lot of questions were raised among them being whether Sgt. Forrest's six-figure overtime pay over the three years was justified. He will serve in that role until an August 2 election.

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