Nashville Mayor Megan Barry Pleads Guilty to Theft and Agrees to Resign
Mar 07, 2018, 00:10
While many in Nashville were willing to reserve judgment on the affair itself, questions mounted about whether Ms. Barry improperly took taxpayer-funded trips with Mr. Forrest and whether she gave his daughter preferential treatment when she sought a city job.
Embattled Nashville Mayor Megan Barry said Tuesday she is stepping down after pleading guilty to stealing money from the city and admitting to an affair with her former bodyguard.
Vice Mayor David Briley will be sworn in as mayor on Tuesday afternoon, according to a statement from his office. Barry said any photos of her would have been taken without her knowledge or consent.
The photos were discovered in Forrest's work email, the filings state.
Investigators found nude photos of Barry on Forrest's phone that were taken while he was accompanying the mayor on supposed city business.
Barry also has been hit with an ethics complaint from social activists who have alleged that, because of her affair with Forrest, the mayor was conflicted when she made decisions related to police. The city's information technology system, however, continued to show Anderson as the approving authority until February 9 of this year, when a report on the issue by NewsChannel 5 prompted Metro Nashville's Director of Information Technology Systems to describe the error as "a computer glitch". Both Barry and Forrest were sentenced to three years of probation.
"Today I acknowledged publicly that I have engaged in an extramarital affair with the former head of my security detail", Barry said in a January 31 statement.
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Barry's admission - in an interview with the USA TODAY NETWORK - Tennessee and then alone on a city hall stage before a scrum of media - shocked the city and set into motion a series of investigations into whether she had violated ethical or criminal laws.
Underscoring the timing of Barry's departure is the looming May 1 referendum on Barry's ambitious and expensive transit plan, by far the biggest political battle of her tenure.
He was also given three years probation and as a term of that probation, he is required to reimburse Nashville $45,000 paid to him as a salary.
Barry, a Democrat, was elected in 2015.
Calls for Barry to resign have been popping up in yard signs around town in recent weeks, amid charges that the mayor's affair reveals poor judgment and possible conflicts of interest.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation confirms their inquiry will continue until District Attorney Funk calls it off.
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