Nashville mayor resigns after affair, pleads guilty to theft


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Mayor Megan Barry, a one-time rising star in the Democratic Party with big plans to remake Nashville, resigned today after pleading guilty to cheating the city out of thousands of dollars as she carried on an affair with her bodyguard.

The resignation marked a swift fall for Barry, who stunned the city in late January by confessing to an extramarital relationship with the former head of her security detail.

"While my time today as your mayor concludes, my unwavering love and sincere affection for this wonderful city and its great people will never come to an end," the 54-year-old Barry said at a news conference shortly after appearing before a judge. She did not take questions.

Barry and her former bodyguard, police Sgt. Robert Forrest, separately pleaded guilty to felony theft. Barry's resignation was part of a plea bargain with prosecutors. She and Forrest were sentenced to three years' probation.

Barry also agreed to reimburse the city $11,000, while Forrest will return $45,000 that authorities said was paid to him in salary or overtime when he was not actually performing his duties as security chief.

In court, Barry didn't say how she stole money from the city, but investigators have said they believe she engaged in the affair while she was on city-paid trips and Forrest was on the clock.

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