Nashville mayor pleads guilty to property theft after affair

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A month after she admitted to an extramarital affair with her then-bodyguard, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry has pleaded guilty to theft of property and is expected to resign at a surprise news conference scheduled for Tuesday morning.

When Barry first admitted Jan. 31 to having an affair with Sgt. Robert Forrest, she said she planned to stay in office. But the revelation of the affair derailed the first term of a mayor who was seen a rising star among Democrats

After her plea Tuesday morning, she was sentenced to three years’ probation and a fine.

In Court, District Attorney General Glenn Funk said that had the case gone to trial, witnesses would have testified that between March 2016 and February 2018 Megan Barry caused over $10,000 and no less than $60,000 of Metro Nashville city funds to be expended unlawfully.

The revelation of the affair led to an investigation, which found probable cause that a nude photo and partially nude photo of a woman found on Forrest’s work cellphone were taken while he was working and the two were engaging in their relationship while he was on duty. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation did not identify the woman in the photos and Barry has said that if the photos are of her, they were taken without her knowledge or permission.

Metro Nashville Police records show Forrest’s overtime more than doubled in the budget year after Barry was elected in September 2015. Barry said the affair began in spring 2016, an affidavit said.

Barry has not said when the affair ended, only that it’s over. Forrest, who had spent more than 31 years with Metro Nashville Police and supervised the mayor’s security detail over three administrations, has retired.

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