Nashville Mayor Megan Barry disclosed an extramarital affair with the head of her security detail on Wednesday and publicly apologized after mounting media inquiries about the sudden retirement of police Sgt. Rob Forrest.
"I accept full responsibility for the pain I have caused my family and his," Barry wrote in a statement. "I am so sorry to my husband Bruce, who has stood by me in my darkest moments and remains committed to our marriage, just as I am committed to repairing the damage I have done.
"I also must apologize to the people of Nashville who elected me to serve as your mayor. I knew my actions could cause damage to my office and the ones I loved, but I did it anyway. I must hold myself to the highest standard of which the voters deserve to expect. Please know that I’m disappointed in myself but also understand that I’m a human and that I made a mistake."
Barry said she would talk to the media at 7 p.m.
The mayor is in the midst of pushing a major transit overhaul. In her statement, she alluded to this proposal and said she regrets "any distractions that will be caused by my actions."
Pair Traveled Together Often
As detailed by The Tennessean, the mayor and her security leader made trips together to conferences across the country and even internationally — at times only as a pair without other Metro employees present.
Forrest had been with the police department for three decades and also headed security for former Nashville mayors Bill Purcell and Karl Dean. In his resignation letter dated Jan. 17, obtained by WKRN, Forrest refers to an outstanding career and his desire to make a smooth transition.
Forrest was often at the mayor’s side in public appearances. He was also tasked with informing the mayor of her son Max Barry’s death in July, according to her public account of the evening when she learned of his overdose death.
He is married and has an adult daughter who also works for Metro Government, according to a city biography.