Nashville Mayor Megan Barry under investigation for affair with former bodyguard

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry is facing an investigation after admitting last week to having an affair with the former head of her security detail, Metropolitan Nashville Police Department Sgt. Robert Forrest.

Both Barry and Forrest, who has since retired, have spouses.

On Tuesday, the Nashville City Council approved the establishment of a special committee to determine if the mayor misused public funds (which is a crime in Tennessee) as a result of the affair.

Per the Tennessean, Forrest accompanied Barry on 19 trips for city-related business between January and October 2017 at a cost of more than $30,000. Records show that on nine of the trips, including a seven-day visit to Athens, Greece, Forrest was Barry’s sole companion. 

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NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 08: Mayor of Nashville Megan Barry attends the Miranda MuttNation March at Nissan Stadium on June 8, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 02: Nashville Mayor Megan Barry addresses the crowd during Nashville Candelight Vigil For Las Vegas at Ascend Amphitheater on October 2, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. Late Sunday night, a lone gunman, Stephan Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nevada, opened fire on attendees at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, a three-day country music festival, leaving at least 59 dead and over 500 injured before killing himself. The massacre is one of the deadliest mass shooting events in U.S. history. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
Actor Tony Goldwyn (C) and Nashville Mayor Megan Barry (R) campaign with U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, February 28, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
NASHVILLE, TN - JANUARY 14: Mayor of Nashville Megan Barry, singer-songwriter Dierks Bentley, and Bruce Barry attend the Nashville Opening of Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row on January 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennesse (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row Nashville)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 02: Nashville Mayor Megan Barry addresses the crowd during Nashville Candelight Vigil For Las Vegas at Ascend Amphitheater on October 2, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. Late Sunday night, a lone gunman, Stephan Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nevada, opened fire on attendees at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, a three-day country music festival, leaving at least 59 dead and over 500 injured before killing himself. The massacre is one of the deadliest mass shooting events in U.S. history. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 08: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Nashville's Mayor Megan Barry speaks onstage for day 1 of the 2017 CMA Music Festival on June 8, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 27: Nashville Mayor Megan Barry speaks during the induction ceremony of Amy Grant and Martha R. Ingram at Walk of Fame Park on April 27, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Davis/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 20: Raul Leal, Richard Branson, Megan Barry, and Dave Pollin attend Virgin Hotels Nashville Groundbreaking Ceremony on September 20, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for Virgin Hotels)
NASHVILLE, TN - FEBRUARY 27: Nashville Mayor Megan Barry speaks at the T.J. Martell Foundation 9th Annual Nashville Honors Gala at Omni Hotel on February 27, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for T.J. Martell Foundation)
NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 06: Nashville Mayor Megan Barry speaks during the CMA Foundation's Announcement of a One Million dollar donation to the Metro Nashville public schools 'Music makes us' progam at Oliver Middle School on December 6, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - FEBRUARY 05: Mayor Megan Barry speaks onstage during CRS 2018 Day 1 on February 5, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CRS)
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The mayor is also facing an ethics complaint speculating that her affair with Forrest may have factored into her decision not to support a civilian review board of the force.

The mayor’s office released a statement earlier this week welcoming any investigation into the affair and disputing claims that the mayor may have misspent money on travel.

“Mayor Barry has never sought reimbursement for meals or other expenses related to travel,” Barry’s communications director, Sean Braisted, said in a statement. “She has never sought to financially benefit from any of the travel she has taken on behalf of the city. We believe that at no time did Mayor Barry or Sgt. Forrest ever attempt to use taxpayer dollars to support their extramarital affair.”

“I just want to make it right,” Barry told Nashville’s NewsChannel 5 in an interview Thursday. “Whatever ‘right’ looks like for the citizens.”

In a statement issued through his lawyer last week, Forrester apologized to his family for his extramarital relationship, but denied any wrongdoing during his time as an officer.

“I deeply regret that my professional relationship with Mayor Barry turned into a personal one,” he 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.”

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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