Nashville Mayor Megan Barry could face multiple investigations in the wake of an extramarital affair she had with the head of her security detail. What’s being called into question is the use of taxpayer money for trips she took with her former bodyguard as well as thousands of dollars in overtime pay he received.
When Barry came clean last week about her affair with Sgt. Rob Forrest, she apologized for her actions but assured citizens that her conduct was not outside the law.
Since then, Nashville’s District Attorney asked state investigators to look into the Mayor’s nearly two year affair. He wants to know if the illicit relationship led to breaking any laws, including misappropriation of public funds and official misconduct.
And on Friday, two council members started their own push for an investigation. Council members Bob Mendes and Tanaka Vercher are co-sponsoring a resolution to establish a special committee. It would have subpoena power to investigate travel and overtime expenses tied to Mayor Barry's affair. The Tennessean reported that more than $33,000 was spent on trips where Forrest provided security for Barry in 2017.
Both inquiries come after questions were raised regarding nine trips Barry took alone with Forrest, some of which extended days beyond any scheduled work events. There is also the question of Forrest’s spike in overtime compared to his work under previous mayors.
WSMV reported that while protecting Mayor Barry, Forrest’s overtime almost doubled compared to when he worked for former Mayor Karl Dean. Between 2016 and 2017, Forrest put in more than 1,200 hours of overtime and earned a salary of more than $157,000.
Last week, Barry said the overtime matched up with her aggressive schedule.
Multiple media outlets are also investigating. Barry has said she welcomes the scrutiny.