Nashville Mayor Megan Barry announced her resignation during a press conference Tuesday morning (March 6). The resignation announcement follows her admission on Jan. 31 of a nearly two-year affair with her bodyguard Sgt. Rob Forrest, who announced his retirement that same day.
“Today is primarily about the smooth transition from my administration to that of David Briley,” Barry said in announcing her resignation on Tuesday. “I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge and thank the thousands and thousands of people who reached out to me and encouraged me, comforted me, worried endlessly about me and supported me during these many difficult and trying months.
“I sincerely hope and believe that my own actions will not tarnish or otherwise distract from the work [her team does]. It has been the privilege of my entire professional life to have the blessing and opportunity to be your mayor. Thank you in advance for the support you will give Mayor David Briley in the weeks ahead. I love you Nashville.”
Earlier today, Barry pled guilty to theft of over $10,000 and will face three years probation. She will reimburse $11,000 to the city of Nashville. Forrest also pleaded guilty to theft of property over $10,000. He will serve three years supervised probation and will repay the city of Nashville $45,000.
Following Barry’s resignation, Vice Mayor David Briley becomes acting mayor. According to The Tennessean, Briley won’t be officially sworn in as mayor, but will earn the office’s $180,000 salary. Under the Metro Charter, the election to replace Barry will take place during the Aug. 2 general election. A run-off election between the first and second finishers will occur in September if no candidate garners at least 50 percent of the vote.
In 2015, Barry, a democrat, became Nashville’s first female mayor. As a councilwoman, Barry sponsored Metro’s first non-discrimination ordinance for city employees who are gay, lesbian or transgender. In 2015, Barry officiated the first same-sex marriage in Nashville’s history.
2017 also came with personal tragedy for Barry, whose only son Max died from an overdose in Colorado.
Barry moved to Nashville in the 1990s and attended graduate school at Vanderbilt University. She worked in corporate ethics before becoming mayor, previously working for health care company Premier.
Following the live announcement, Barry sent the following statement to supporters:
While my time as your mayor concludes today, my unwavering love and sincere affection for this wonderful city and its great people shall never come to an end.
No one is as excited about this city, and its bright and limitless future, than I am.
Nashville, with its boundless energy, its infectious optimism, its never- encountered-an-obstacle-it-cou
ldn’t-overcome attitude, will, in the years ahead, continue its steady march toward the very top of the list of great American cities.
It’s a continued climb that I will watch, but I will watch as a private citizen, and I will be tremendously proud nonetheless.
While today is primarily about the smooth transition from my administration to that of Vice Mayor Briley, I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge and thank the thousands and thousands of people who have reached out to me, written me, encouraged me, comforted me, worried endlessly about me, and most importantly prayed for me during these many difficult and trying months.
In two and a half short years, we have made great strides and progress on affordable housing, transit, public education, youth opportunity, quality of life, and our economy.
None of this would have been possible without my incredible staff, our talented department heads, and all of the dedicated men and women of the Metropolitan Government who have worked hard to make the lives of Nashvillians a little better each day.
They got up yesterday, they got up today, and they will get up again tomorrow devoted to making sure our city sings.
And I sincerely hope and believe that my own actions will not tarnish or otherwise detract from all of their great work.
It has been the honor and it has been the privilege of my entire professional life to have had the blessing of this opportunity to be your mayor.
Thank you in advance for the support that I am sure you will give to Mayor Briley in the days and weeks ahead.
God bless this wonderful city.
I love you, Nashville.
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