Nashville Mayor Megan Barry resigns after affair and pleading guilty to theft

PHOTO: Nashville mayor Megan Barry pleads guilty to felony theft of property over $10,000 related to her affair with former police bodyguard Sgt. Rob Forrest in court at the Justice A. A. Birch Building, March 5, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn.PlayShelley Mays/The Tennessean via USA Today Network
WATCH Nashville mayor resigns after affair, pleads guilty to theft

Embattled Nashville Mayor Megan Barry -- who admitted to an extramarital affair and reportedly used taxpayer money to fund trips during the dalliance -- resigned from office Tuesday morning after pleading guilty to theft.

In a statement today, Barry, a Democrat, praised the city she led since 2015.

PHOTO: Mar 6, 2018; Nashville, TN, USA; Nashville Mayor Megan Barry announces her resignation at a press conference in the mayors conference room at Metro Courthouse, March 6, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn.George Walker IV/The Tennessean via USA Today Network
Mar 6, 2018; Nashville, TN, USA; Nashville Mayor Megan Barry announces her resignation at a press conference in the mayor's conference room at Metro Courthouse, March 6, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn.

"It's a continued climb that I will watch, but I will watch as a private citizen and I will be tremendously proud, nonetheless," she said. Vice Mayor David Briley will take over her duties, and Barry expressed her desire for a smooth transition.

Barry's resignation comes more than a month after she admitted to an affair with a member of her security team.

"I sincerely hope and believe that my own actions will not tarnish or otherwise detract from all of the great work that they do," she said to the citizens of Nashville," Barry said in today's statement.

PHOTO: Nashville Mayor Megan Barry announces her resignation at a press conference in the mayors conference room at Metro Courthouse, March 6, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. Larry McCormack/The Tennessean via USA Today Network
Nashville Mayor Megan Barry announces her resignation at a press conference in the mayor's conference room at Metro Courthouse, March 6, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn.

Earlier this year, reports surfaced that Barry and Sgt. Rob Forrest allegedly used taxpayer money to pay for trips during their affair. Barry denied those allegations in a statement in early February.

"Any other hotel expense or airfare paid for by Metro was for official business on behalf of the city of Nashville," the statement read.

However, Barry pleaded guilty Tuesday morning in Davidson County Criminal Court to felony theft of property. Barry didn't say how she stole money from the city during her court appearance today, but an investigation found that she was engaged in her relationship with her bodyguard while on city-paid trips.

She faces three years of unsupervised probation and must reimburse the city $11,000 for what prosecutors called "unlawful expenditures." Another condition of her plea was that she had to resign from office.

Forrest also pleaded guilty to felony theft and will have to reimburse $45,000 that he was paid for time that he was actually spending with Barry, according to court documents.

He was also sentenced to three years of probation.

If Barry follows the conditions of her probation, the charge will be removed from her record. "If you do what you're supposed to do you can have this matter dismissed and expunged," the judge stated to her.

PHOTO: Nashville mayor Megan Barry pleads guilty to felony theft of property over $10,000 related to her affair with former police bodyguard Sgt. Rob Forrest in court at the Justice A. A. Birch Building, March 5, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn.Shelley Mays/The Tennessean via USA Today Network
Nashville mayor Megan Barry pleads guilty to felony theft of property over $10,000 related to her affair with former police bodyguard Sgt. Rob Forrest in court at the Justice A. A. Birch Building, March 5, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn.

"It has been my honor and it has been the privilege of my entire professional life to have the blessing and the opportunity to be your mayor," Barry told reporters following today's court appearance, concluding, "I love you Nashville."

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