Board will hear evidence against Megan Barry

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A group of local activists will have the chance to present evidence that they say shows former mayor Megan Barry violated Metro’s Standards of Conduct.

The Board of Ethical Conduct voted Wednesday to conduct a hearing as it relates to a complaint the group “Community Oversight NOW” filed in February.

The complaint charges, among other things, that the relationship between Barry and her head of security, Sgt. Rob Forrest, influenced the former mayor’s decisions regarding police matters.

It also alleges that their relationship created the appearance of preferential treatment due to excessive overtime Forrest accrued.

Robert Forrest (Courtesy: and Megan Barry (Photo: WKRN)

The board said it agrees that there are unanswered questions regarding those two topics and it will hear testimony, witnesses and evidence that Community Oversight NOW presents.

“It could be 100 percent that the mayor acted, as she believed, professionally and independently without any influence,” said board member Diane Di Ianni. “But it’s not influence we’re arguing about. It’s the appearance of influence. You can’t do anything that would give anyone a reasonable basis that you were unduly influenced in public duties.”

The board will also hear testimony from Metro’s auditor regarding Forrest’s overtime once his investigation is complete.

Barry’s attorney was at the meeting and asked to speak, but wasn’t allowed to.

Community Oversight NOW’s Theeda Murphy told News 2 that her group was pleased with the outcome and a filed open records request supports their ethics complaint.

The hearing is scheduled for late April.

Click here for complete coverage of Megan Barry’s resignation.