NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The fallout has begun after Nashville’s mayor admitted Wednesday to having an affair with the former head of her security detail.
District Attorney General Glenn Funk has asked the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to look into whether Mayor Megan Barry and/or others, including Sgt. Rob Forrest, violated any criminal law, including misappropriation of public funds and official misconduct.
Forrest was Barry’s head of security until he retired abruptly, announcing his retirement just two weeks before it went into effect the same day she made the affair public.
Later Thursday evening, the mayor sent a statement to news outlets saying she will “fully cooperate.” She said, in full:
Earlier this morning, I spoke with General Funk and he informed me that he would be requesting a TBI investigation that could answer questions of legality in this matter. I will fully cooperate with this process, but as this is an ongoing investigation, I will have no further comments about this matter.”
During a public press conference after the news broke, Barry insisted nothing illegal happened and she’s confident all records would back that up. A reporter asked, “Are you saying nothing at all illegal happened during the course of this relationship?”
“Absolutely. There were no policies that were violated. There was no –nothing illegal happened. The records will absolutely show that the expenses match with the overtime expected, and I welcome anybody to take a look at that,” the mayor responded.
The TBI said their process with this investigation is the same as another other. In a statement, the agency explained, “As with any TBI investigation, agents will collect any and all relevant evidence and interviews and, in turn, submit investigative findings to the District Attorney General for his further review and consideration.”
News 2 reached out Forrest’s attorney, David Raybin, who simply stated, “This is an investigation, not an allegation. I have no further comment.”
We have also reached out to Mayor Barry for comment but have yet to hear back.
The Metro Council’s Board of Ethical Conduct released a statement, though, after several requests from local media. The board’s chair said, in full:
During challenging times everyone wants what is best for our community. As a Councilmember, I believe it is important that we maintain our focus on governance. As President Pro Tempore of the Council, I serve as a member of the Council’s Board of Ethical Conduct and have been asked the nature of that board and its work. As Chair of the Board, I can confirm that no complaint has been filed against the Mayor or any former police agent assigned to her security detail. It is not the role of the Board or its members to initiate complaints. I will not comment on allegations, and will not draw conclusions on matters not before the Board. We have processes in place to guide our navigation of various situations with thoughtful systematic focus. For more information about the Board’s processes and ethical standards for Metro officials, please review Metropolitan Code of Laws section 2.222.010, 020 and 040.