Nashville Mayor Megan Barry Resigns, Pleads Guilty to Felony Theft After Affair With Her Bodyguard

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry has resigned and pleaded guilty to a felony theft charge linked to an affair with her bodyguard. Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for SESAC

Nashville's mayor has resigned and pleaded guilty to a felony just a month after refusing to step down when it was discovered she had an affair with her bodyguard.

Although she apologized January 31 for the previous affair with a Nashville Police Department sergeant who is now retired, Megan Barry did not resign from office when the relationship was uncovered. But she stepped down March 6 and pleaded guilty to a theft charge, according to an Associated Press report.

The resignation was part of a plea agreement on the felony charge. The AP said she received three years of probation and was ordered to pay an $11,000 fine in restitution, after allegedly causing thousands of dollars from the city's funds to be spent in an unlawful manner.

When the affair was discovered, critics pointed to the use of public funds to finance work trips for the mayor on which the police sergeant, Robert Forrest, accompanied her. Those travel expenses may have reached about $30,000 in 2017, and Forrest received additional overtime pay during that period.

When Barry was in court to plead guilty, she admitted to unlawfully spending more than $10,000 in city funds on the sergeant between March 2016 and this past January, according to National Public Radio.

"While my time today as your mayor concludes, my unwavering love and sincere affection for this wonderful city and its great people never ends," Barry said at a news conference, according to the AP.

The relationship allegedly began in 2016. Authorities found deleted phone logs of chats and calls between Barry and Forrest during an investigation. They also found nude photos on the sergeant's work phone, believed to be taken in 2017 while he was on duty, although the person in the photos was not publicly identified.

Barry, a Democrat, became mayor in 2015.

Her vice mayor, David Briley, will take her place on an interim basis.