As part of Mayor Megan Barry’s plea deal, she will have to serve three years of unsupervised probation.
And once that’s over? The Mayor may end up with a clean record.
Barry resigned this morning just an hour after entering a conditional guilty plea on one charge of theft of property over $10,000. She was also ordered to reimburse $11,000 to the city for the cost of Rob Forrest's travel expenses, which the District Attorney's Office said she has already repaid.
Probation is a “suspended sentence” — meaning it allows a person convicted of a crime to serve their term outside of prison.
More traditional is what's called “supervised” probation, which requires mandatory meetings with probation officers and sets stringent requirements like taking classes and submitting to drug tests.
A sentence of “unsupervised probation” is looser. Barry will not have to check in with an officer nor face travel restrictions within the country.
Another part of Barry’s sentencing is the stipulation that she would resign as mayor immediately.
If Barry had not reached a deal and gone on to trial, court records show she would have faced a possible sentence of 3 to 15 years in prison if convicted.
Barry was sentenced to probation under “judicial diversion,” a program available to qualifying defendants who don’t have prior convictions on their record.
If she completes the terms of her probation and pays the restitution as stipulated in her deal, without violating or getting into any other legal trouble, Barry will be eligible for expungement.
Nashville civil rights attorney Daniel Horwitz charges Barry’s administration with “playing a significant role in helping deny” the right to expungement to other defendants in the city.
Horwitz filed a lawsuit in 2015, asking the city to ease requirements for 128,000 Nashvillians who’d been found not guilty between 2000 and 2012 but, for a number of reasons, had not been able to file the paperwork to clear it from their record. Expungement of a diversion charge costs $450, while other cases run $280 or free if the person's charges were dismissed.
Metro’s legal team fought the lawsuit, through the city later compromised by allowing applications for expungement to be mailed in.
Note: This story was updated at 4:15 p.m. to add that Barry has already reimbursed the city and to clarify the scope of her probation.