Tennessee Democratic Mayor Megan Barry admitted she had an expensive affair with her head of security detail using taxpayer dollars, according to a Wednesday press conference.
Barry, who is married, apologized for having an affair with Metro police Sgt. Robert Forrest Jr. and using nearly $33,000 of the government’s money on their travel expenses over the last 10 months. Barry claims that her trips as mayor of Nashville, Tenn. were for business, including trips to Paris and Athens. However, Barry does not think she improperly misused taxpayer money, NPR reported.
“I’m embarrassed, and I am sad, and I am so sorry for all the pain that I have caused my family and his family,” Barry said Wednesday. “I know that God will forgive me, but that Nashville doesn’t have to. … I hope that I can earn your trust back and that you will forgive me.”
The Democratic mayor also traveled with Forrest Jr. to D.C., New York, Denver, Oakland, Calif., Salt Lake City and Kansas City. Although she apologized she did not resign or even mention resigning. Barry claimed law enforcement set the policy for her coverage and that Forrest Jr.’s protection was necessary on her trips.
“I’ve had a very aggressive schedule, I’m out in the community, and that’s reflected with the overtime that has been billed to my detail,” Barry continued. “The police set the policy for the kind of detail coverage that a mayor gets, and I have been the recipient of that. I have taken trips that have included detail and those trips have always been for business.”
Although Barry has said she refuses to resign, Forrest Jr. submitted his retirement papers Jan. 17. and is no longer serving as a law enforcement officer.
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