Wednesday, 23 January, 2019

Nashville mayor resigns after affair, pleads guilty to theft

Steel Tariffs 20180305 Nashville mayor resigns after affair, pleads guilty to theft
Melinda Barton | 06 March, 2018, 21:59

When Barry first admitted January 31 to having an affair with Sgt. Robert Forrest, she said she planned to stay in office.

"My time today as your mayor concludes", Nashville Mayor Megan Barry said Tuesday after pleading guilty to felony theft of property amounting to more than $10,000. She is being investigated by a Metro Council special committee and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for potential misuse of funds.

"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 54-year-old Democrat, who was elected mayor of Tennessee's bustling capital in 2015, disclosed the affair to the media in late January.

Barry's reputation as a local progressive stems in part from the company she keeps. Barry said any photos of her would have been taken without her knowledge or consent.

Her downfall was swift and she will be replaced Tuesday by the city's vice mayor.

"I sincerely hope and believe that my own actions will not tarnish or otherwise detract from all of the great work they do", she continued.

Robert Forrest's plea Tuesday morning came shortly after Barry pleaded guilty to the same charge and announced her resignation from office.

Barry pleaded guilty to theft of more than $10,000 and received three years of probation, according to Nashville ABC affiliate WKRN. She was the point person for a $5.4 billion transit plan that Nashville voters will consider in a citywide referendum in May. Starting today, Vice Mayor David Briley will take over as acting mayor.

According to the news outlet, the mayor's legal team was reportedly involved in negotiations with the local district attorney. Her office released records of her text messages, calendar and travel expenses and records. The bodyguard later accompanied her on trips to Paris, Athens, Washington, New York, Denver, Oakland and numerous other cities. Barry has said she doesn't want the affair to muddy the "Me Too" women's movement, since her affair was about middle-aged, consenting adults who had feelings for each other.