Nashville Mayor Megan Barry pleaded guilty Tuesday to felony theft of property over $10,000 related to her affair with former police bodyguard Sgt. Rob Forrest. Yes, both of the paramours were married to other people at the time (Forrest's wife has now filed for divorce), but Barry clearly thought she could ride out the scandal as a personal matter.
In addition to her resignation and probation, Barry also must pay $11,000 in restitution.
According to CBS affiliate WTVF, District Attorney Glenn Funk had some witnesses lined up who could testify to the mayor's unlawful expenditure of over $60,000 of taxpayer's money. Among the evidence cited by TBI was nude photos of a woman taken from Forrest's phone. Barry admitted to the affair in an interview last month, saying she regretted it and asking for forgiveness from Nashville voters.
Investigators found nude photos of Barry on Forrest's phone that were taken while he was accompanying the mayor on supposed city business.
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In downtown Nashville, you don't have to go far to see a project with Megan Barry's name on it, and there are scaffolds all across the city's skyline from work started during her time in office. Vice Mayor David Briley will take over her duties, and Barry expressed her desire for a smooth transition.
Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, the now-former mayor of Nashville, pleaded guilty in Davidson County court on Tuesday, March 6, to felony theft charges.
Among the key questions that have been raised since news of the affair include whether Forrest's six-digit overtime pay spanning the past three years was legitimate, and whether their affair factored into her decision not to support a civilian review board of the force. He will be the eighth mayor of Nashville.
Apparently, the affair (which is said to have begun in the spring of 2016) is now over.
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Reports say Barry and Forrest "went together, without any other city employees, on nine trips around the country and the globe, according to travel, expenditure and scheduling records including trips from Athens, Greece to San Francisco, The Tennessean reported".
Prior to the affair, Barry was considered a rising progressive star in Nashville where she had approval ratings around 70 percent.
The affair has also drawn scrutiny to the overtime the officer accrued while managing her detail. She denied breaking the law, rebuffed calls for her resignation, and said her husband remained committed to their marriage.
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