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Nashville mayor admits affair with police bodyguard

Posted at 2:49 PM, Jan 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-31 18:27:51-05

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry admitted Wednesday to an extramarital affair with a Nashville police sergeant who had been assigned to protect her.

Still, in an exclusive interview with Scripps station WTVF in Nashville, Barry insisted that she has not misused taxpayer funds as part of the relationship with Metro Police Sergeant Rob Forrest.

Forrest unexpectedly retired Tuesday after 31 years with the Metro Nashville Police Department.

"I'm very embarrassed, and I'm deeply ashamed, and I'm very sorry," Barry said. "The affair was between two middle-aged consenting adults, and it was a mistake to do this. And I am deeply sorry."

She added, "I know God forgives, but the people of Nashville don't have to -- and I also want to ask for their forgiveness."

The 54-year-old mayor said the relationship with the 58-year-old sergeant began shortly after her election in September 2015.

Barry's admission came just days after WTVF began inquiring about her use of taxpayer money.

Forrest had provided protection for former mayors Bill Purcell and Karl Dean, but his overtime pay had increased dramatically since Barry took office.

Police records show that he averaged $34,000 a year for the last three years of Dean's term.

After Barry took office in September 2015, Forrest's overtime pay increased to just below $60,000 in fiscal year 2015-2016.

The next year, he raked in more than $75,000 in overtime alone, bringing his total pay to $157,187 for fiscal year 2016-17.

Metro Police spokesperson Don Aaron explained that "Mayor Barry has kept a daunting schedule since her election."

"The overtime," Aaron added, "is a reflection of that morning to night and weekend schedule."