More on Nashville mayor’s extramarital affair

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry says her extramarital affair was with Metro police Sgt. Robert Forrest Jr., who heads her security detail, and began in the spring or summer of 2016, just months after she entered office the previous fall, reports The Tennessean.

Forrest submitted his retirement papers Jan. 17. His final day was Wednesday.

…Barry and Forrest are both married. Barry said the relationship was discovered during conversations between their spouses and private discussions.

Forrest, 58, was a regular presence with the mayor during public events, travel and even trips abroad. According to public records obtained by The Tennessean, thousands of taxpayer dollars covered Forrest’s travel with the mayor on city business.

While several of the trips included other members of the mayor’s office, nine of the trips were with only Barry and Forrest, including a trip to Greece in September.

Barry told her staff about the affair Wednesday afternoon and then held a 16-minute early evening news conference, where several of the mayor’s aides and a handful of council members watched. Barry addressed the media standing on a stage alone without her husband, Bruce Barry, in the room.

Barry, 54, said she is no longer seeing Forrest, but during the news conference declined to say when the relationship ended.

…During the interview, Barry hesitated when asked whether she plans to resign, but said she will not, despite rumors swirling Wednesday that she might step down. She also said she won’t be taking a leave of absence and would be in the mayor’s office Thursday.

She said she doesn’t believe the relationship violated any Metro ethics laws or guidelines.

“This is a bad day, and there’s going to be more bad days, but this is not my worst day,” Barry said. “And I know the difference between a mistake — which is what I made and I fully own — and a tragedy. And this is not a tragedy. And I want to regain the trust of Nashvillians. And I will continue to serve.”

Her decision to go public came after inquiries this week from The Tennessean following the retirement of Forrest, the head of security for the last three Nashville mayors.

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