Nashville Mayor Megan Barry resigned Tuesday after pleading guilty to stealing thousands of dollars from the city while carrying on an extramarital affair with her bodyguard.
The rising Democratic star had been an extremely popular mayor with an ambitious agenda to transform the city into a major urban center when she stunned residents earlier this year by admitting to the affair. Her downfall was swift and she will be replaced Tuesday by the city’s vice mayor.
“While my time today as your mayor concludes, my unwavering love and sincere affection for this wonderful city and its great people will never come to an end,” she said at a news conference shortly after she appeared before a judge.
According to NBC ,In court, Barry didn’t say how she stole money from the city, but an investigation found that she was engaged in her relationship with her bodyguard while on city-paid trips. Authorities also found a nude photo and partially nude photo of a woman that were taken by the phone of her bodyguard, Sgt. Robert Forrest, while 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.
The nude and partially nude photos were shot last May and October, on days that Barry’s travel schedule shows she was on separate Washington trips.
The mayor agreed to reimburse the city $11,000. Both Barry and Forrest were sentenced to three years of probation.
“If you do what you’re supposed to do you can have this matter dismissed and expunged,” the judge told Barry.
Barry, 54, was riding high when news broke in late January that she had been having an affair with Forrest, whose wife filed for divorce soon after the affair became public. Barry acknowledged the affair but denied any wrongdoing and rebuffed calls for her resignation.
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, according to an affidavit.
Barry has not said when the affair ended, only that it’s over