Nashville leaders focus on moving forward after Megan Barry resigns

(Photo: WKRN)

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – David Briley walked into the historic courthouse Tuesday morning alone and walked out hours later as mayor with a security detail.

It all happened after former mayor Megan Barry’s fall from grace. Barry made history as Nashville’s first woman mayor in 2015, and now the same supporters who were cheering for her on election night watched as her successor was sworn in Tuesday night.

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Metro council members and state lawmakers were on hand for the event that capped off a massive scandal involving Barry and her former head of security, Sgt. Robert Forrest.

“I’m still personally in a little bit of a state of shock and disbelief. Even weeks after the series of events that led to this moment, I still feel like it’s hard to imagine,” Metro Council member Freddie O’Connell said.

Right after being sworn in, Briley asked for help in moving the city of Nashville forward – help from the council and from the people of Music City.

“I will work my heart out to meet this challenge,” Briley said. “I ask all of you to join me and do the same.”

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“The council will go forward, reminded of that charge. I think Mayor Briley will carry that forward into his service in the mayor’s office. I think he’s looking for overall continuity of the things that are working well in Nashville right now today, and to improve on those things that are not,” O’Connell said.

“As long as everybody in this room, and everybody who represents folks in the legislature keeps doing their jobs, the city will move forward. And I think our best days really are ahead of us,” Sen. Jeff Yarbro said.

A special committee meeting was held on Tuesday night to discuss an ethnics investigation into the former mayor. The TBI has since closed its investigation into Barry.

Click here for complete coverage of Mayor Megan Barry.