Nashville Mayor Megan Barry announces her resignation after admitting to affair with bodyguard, pleading guilty to theft

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A month after she admitted to an extramarital affair with her then-bodyguard, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry agreed on Tuesday to resign as part of a plea deal to a felony charge of property theft.

When Barry first admitted Jan. 31 to having an affair with Sgt. Robert Forrest, she said she planned to stay in office. But on Tuesday morning, she entered the guilty plea, and her lawyer said in court hearing that Barry would resign later in the day as part of the agreement. Barry scheduled a news conference for about an hour later.

She was sentenced to three years’ probation and a fine.

The revelation of the affair derailed the first term of a mayor who was seen a rising star among Democrats.

In Court, District Attorney General Glenn Funk said that had the case gone to trial, witnesses would have testified that between March 2016 and February 2018 Megan Barry caused over $10,000 and no less than $60,000 of Metro Nashville city funds to be expended unlawfully.

The revelation of the affair led to an investigation, which found probable cause that a nude photo and partially nude photo of a woman found on Forrest’s work cellphone were taken while he was working and the two were engaging in their relationship while he was on duty. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation did not identify the woman in the photos and Barry has said that if the photos are of her, they were taken without her knowledge or permission.

The photos were discovered in Forrest’s work email, the filings state. There were 260 deleted chats between Forrest’s phone and Barry’s phone number as well as 35 deleted call logs, the affidavit states.

Officials stopped short of identifying who was in the photos. But in the affidavit, an agent says he believes a black purse in one nude photo is the same purse found in a different photo of Barry found on Forrest’s phone. The two photos were taken a day apart, the affidavit states.

The nude and partially nude photos were shot last May and October, on days that Barry’s travel schedule shows she was on separate Washington trips.

Metro Nashville Police records show Forrest’s overtime more than doubled in the budget year after Barry was elected in September 2015. Barry said the affair began in spring 2016, according to an affidavit.

Barry has not said when the affair ended, only that it’s over. Forrest, who had spent more than 31 years with Metro Nashville Police and supervised the mayor’s security detail over three administrations, has retired.