Nashville Mayor Megan Barry admits to extramarital affair with Metro Police Sgt. Robert Forrest


Photo courtesy of Nashville Scene

Story by Rachael Keisling / Contributing Writer

Megan Barry, the mayor of Nashville, admitted to having an extramarital affair with Metro Police Sgt. Robert Forrest Jr, who was in charge of Barry’s security detail, on Wednesday.

According to reports by The Tennessean, Barry announced the affair after inquiries were made due to Forrest’s unexpected retirement. Forrest, who has served in his position under three mayors, submitted his retirement papers on Jan. 17, and his last day was Wednesday. Both Barry and Forrest are married. A press release was published on Wednesday, in which Barry detailed her apology and thoughts on the affair.

The release reads,

Today, I have acknowledged publicly that I have engaged in an extramarital affair with the former head of my security detail. I accept full responsibility for the pain I have caused my family and his. 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. In 2015, I was elected to serve as Mayor of Nashville on a platform that included building more affordable housing, improving public education, and promoting better transportation options. We have made progress on these fronts – but there is more to be done. While I regret any distractions that will be caused by my actions, I remain firmly committed to working hard to serve the people of Nashville now and into the future. God will forgive me, but the people of Nashville don’t have to. In the weeks and months to come, I will work hard to earn your forgiveness and earn back your trust.”

While Forrest has been reluctant to speak with news organizations, his attorney, David Raybin, released an official statement.

“I deeply regret that my professional relationship with Mayor Barry turned into a personal one,” Forrest said in the statement. “This has caused great pain for my wife, my family, friends and colleagues. At no time did I ever violate my oath as a police officer or engage in actions that would abuse the public trust.”

According to The Tennessean, Barry will not be resigning from her position. Barry has served as the mayor of Nashville since 2015.

To contact News Editor Andrew Wigdor, email newseditor@mtsusidelines.com.

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4 Comments

  1. Daniel Shaw-Remeta
    February 2, 2018
    Reply

    Although it is still too early to know what will happen to Mayor Megan Barry in regards to her extramarital affair and her role as mayor, her release seemed to be pretty sincere and remorseful in comparison to other public statements I’ve seen. She didn’t try to avoid responsibility (not that she really could have) and she claims to not have any intentions of resigning from her position as mayor.

    I really think it’ll be interesting to find out if the affair involved misuse of taxpayer money. If it does she will be facing criminal prosecution, and it will obviously ruin her career. Being that Sgt. Forrest was in charge of Barry’s security detail, he must have traveled with her a lot, and I am interested to find out if travel expense records will ultimately play a role in Barry’s fate as an elected official.

    Personally, I like Barry and I think that as long as she isn’t guilty of more than just an affair, she can continue to be mayor. However, I know Sgt. Forrest’s overtime pay nearly doubled since Barry took office, and that could be a huge concern to whether she continues to be mayor or not.

    https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4364184-Overtime-Email.html#document/p1/a401714

  2. dtcmtsuspring18
    February 2, 2018
    Reply

    Regarding Megan Barry’s status as Mayor of Nashville, I believe she should resign from her seat in office. By admitting to having an affair, she is also admitting to the lack of loyalty that she possesses. If Mrs. Barry would sneak behind her very own husband’s back and lie to his face, I would have no reason to believe that she wouldn’t do the same thing to the very citizens she is supposed to hold within her best interests.

    The tax money spent during Mayor Barry’s trips by which Officer Forrest was working amongst her security detail is suspicious and questionable as too this is proper use of the tax payer’s dollar. In fact, Officer Forrest earned almost five thousand dollars in over time while on “getaways” with Mayor Barry. https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2018/01/31/nashville-mayor-megan-barry-admits-extramarital-relationship-top-security-officer/1082374001/

    The mayor has had a high approval rating in the past, but one could say that is because she has been hiding her intentions or manipulating her perceived integrity. In politics, one of the most important things in the public’s eye is the integrity of those who lead our communities. At the end of the day, integrity is about what you do even when others are not looking. In this unfortunate case, Megan Barry finds improper use of tax revenue and proceeds to participate in an affair with a member of her security detail. In my opinion, if find that it would be best if Mayor Barry stepped down from her mayoral duties in Nashville.

  3. Raul Rivera
    February 2, 2018
    Reply

    First, i like to begin by saying i was honestly shocked that Mayor Megan Barry would be involved in such a scandal. Not all the facts are out there right now, so its a little to early to fully label her as the “devil” of Nashville. Already in 2018 the mayor has gone from the glorious mayor who brought a Major League Soccer team to Nashville, to the corrupt mayor who takes money from her city.

    Yes, she was having an affair with Sgt. Barry, head of her security detail, but its still not known if she took any tax money in order to personally fund herself. If indeed she was taking tax money to pay for her luxurious trip she should have to sit in front of a court and have them decide her fate. I also think that increase in her lovers pay should be enough evidence for the mayor to at least have to step down.

    However, i do applaud Mayor Barry for having the courage to come out and face the media in the way that she did. She must however understand that there has to be consequences for her actions. The citizens of Nashville deserve better.

  4. eljo
    February 15, 2018
    Reply

    I suppose as long as you like someone, it’s OK if they aren’t guilty of more than JUST AN AFFAIR ! Especially if they don’t use taxpayer’s money. But do the people of Davidson Co. (and surrounding counties) really think that taxpayers didn’t foot the bill ?? Who paid for those hotel rooms, meals and whatever else an official trip includes. However, it is more than likely that taxpayer’s money was spared on outside entertainment…As far as her sincere and remorseful release, what choice did she have ? It was going to be released and the liberal press gave her a warning (strictly my opinion). She made it clear that the public did not have to forgive her and that she had no intentions of resigning. Most liberal politicians (Bill Clinton) have the attitude that you elected me and you’re stuck with me whether you like it or not. My observation has been that conservative politicians resign their positions. As parents and authority figures, we have an obligation to set a good example to our children, and let them know there are consequences to bad behavior and/or wrong choices…

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