Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Nashville Mayor Pleads Guilty To Felony Theft, Admits Affair With Bodyguard

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry listens to a question during a news conference in her office Monday Aug. 7 2017 in Nashville Tenn Maren Morris 'Sad' Over Nashville Mayor Megan Barry Resigning
Isaac Mcdaniel | 08 March, 2018, 01:31

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry announced her resignation at a news conference Tuesday morning after she admitted to felony theft. Barry also allegedly deleted text messages between her and Forrest.

She also must pay $11,000 in restitution and if she follows her plea agreement for next three years, the charges can be dismissed and expunged.

According to District Attorney Glenn Funk, Barry spent "over 10K but less than 60K" in city funds on Forrest. When Barry traveled to San Francisco, Kansas City and Athens, Greece, she was accompanied by Forrest and admitted to staying beyond the time needed to attend to official events. More importantly, this lurch in the case from unlawful sex to unlawful use of public money put an end, for the time at least, to Barry's political career.

Authorities found two nude or partially nude photos of a woman that were taken by Forrest's phone while he was on duty.

"God bless this wonderful city, I love you Nashville", said Barry as she ended her press conference.

Last month, authorities charged in court documents that newly discovered nude cell phone photos may be evidence that Barry and Forrest were having an affair while he was being paid to be her bodyguard.

On Tuesday, she would be the first Nashville mayor to leave office before the expiration of their term in almost a century. With her departure, Vice Mayor David Briley will take over as mayor.

Barry claimed at the time the affair was a personal matter that violated no laws or ethical standards, and refused to resign.

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Barry has promised to repay the city and serve three years' probation.

The first female mayor of America's country music capital resigned from office Tuesday after pleading guilty to a criminal charge in connection with a long-running affair with her bodyguard.

Barry stunned the city in late January when she confessed to the extramarital relationship, which began in spring 2016 and continued as her popularity and accomplishments grew. But at least Megan Barry has a really good mug shot.

In a statement on Tuesday, Barry, a Democrat, praised the city she led since 2015.

Before becoming mayor, Barry earned an MBA from Vanderbilt University and was an ethics and compliance officer in the telecommunications and health care industries.

Forrest's overtime pay more than doubled from 2014-15 to the 2016-17 budget year, according to Metro Nashville Police records.

The Tennessee Titans did not comment on the mayor's departure, but they did have a positive working relationship with the city and her office during that period.

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