Tarnished Democratic Star Megan Barry Resigns As Mayor of Nashville After Pleading Guilty to Felony

Nashville mayor Megan Barry speaks during the 21st Annual HRC Nashville Equality Dinner honoring Kesha at the Renaissance Hotel on Saturday, March 5, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP)
Wade Payne/Invision/AP

NASHVILLE, Tennessee–Less than an hour after she pleaded guilty in a Nashville criminal court to felony theft charges related to her two-year-long extramarital affair with her former Metro Nashville Police Department bodyguard, Mayor Megan Barry resigned from office on Tuesday morning.

“Barry appeared in court Tuesday morning and pleaded guilty to theft of property over $10,000 — a Class C Felony. She will pay $11,000 in restitution and serve three years’ probation. After that time, she will be able to apply to have it expunged from her record,” NewsChannel 5 reported shortly after 9:30 am on Tuesday.

Minutes after she left the criminal court, Barry announced her resignation at a brief press conference held at Nashville City Hall.

“No one is as excited about this city and its bright and limitless future as I am,” Barry said.

The Tennessean reported on her additional comments:

Nashville, with its boundless energy, its infectious optimism, it has never encountered an obstacle it couldn’t overcome attitude, will in the years ahead continue its steady march toward the very top of the list of great American cities.

It’s a continued climb that I will watch, but I will watch as a private citizen and I will be tremendously proud nonetheless.

In two-and-a-half short years, we have made tremendous strides and progress on affordable housing and transit, public education, youth opportunity, quality of life and our economy, and none of this, not one thing, would have happened without my incredible staff, our talented department heads, and all of the dedicated men and women at the metropolitan government who get up every day and make the lives of Nashvillians just a little bit better.

Barry did not address the criminal charges that prompted her resignation.

After she announced her resignation, Barry sent out this tweet:

Barry’s former bodyguard, retired Sgt. Rob Forrest, pleaded guilty to felony theft charges later on Tuesday morning, and was required to pay $45,000 in restitution. Like Barry, Forrest is expected serve no jail time and will receive three years of probation, The Tennessean reported.

Barry herself was booked on felony charges “like an ordinary criminal and [had] her mug shot taken,” shortly after 11 a.m., as NewsChannel 5’s Phil Williams reported on air.

Breitbart News reported on Mayor Barry’s January 31 press conference:

Barry, who is married, admitted to conducting a two-years long extramarital affair with Forrest, also married and head of her security detail, from “shortly after” her election in September 2015 until an unspecified date shortly prior to his resignation, which came on the day of the news conference.

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

In 2017, Barry and Forrest took nine trips alone together outside of Tennessee, all funded by the city’s taxpayers, to Athens, Greece, San Francisco, California, and Washington, DC, among other places.

Vice Mayor David Briley will be sworn in as acting Mayor of Nashville at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

“This is a hard day for Nashville. Mayor Barry’s resignation will enable us to regain focus on the important work of our city,” The Tennessean reported Briley said in a statement.

“My pledge is simple: As mayor, I will begin work immediately with a sole focus on managing the city and making progress on community priorities,” Briley wrote. “That work will be transparent and be conducted with every effort to restore public trust, and move our great city forward.”

A special election will be held in August to elect a mayor to serve out the remainder of Barry’s term.


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