Nashville mayor resigns after pleading guilty to theft

House Speaker Paul Ryan’s office said “The new tax reform law has boosted the economy and we certainly don’t want to jeopardize those gains.”

Barry, who is married, admitted to conducting a two-years long extramarital affair with Forrest, also married and head of her security detail, from "shortly after" her election in September 2015 until an unspecified date shortly prior to his resignation, which came on the day of the news conference.

Her alleged crime (a felony theft charge) was to have asked for reimbursement of travel expenses associated with an admitted affair with the chief of her security detail.

While many in Nashville were willing to reserve judgment on the affair itself, questions mounted about whether Ms. Barry improperly took taxpayer-funded trips with Mr. Forrest and whether she gave his daughter preferential treatment when she sought a city job.

The investigators found Forrest had racked up hundreds of hours of overtime in Nashville, escorting the mayor to hot yoga classes, hockey games, late-night concerts and trendy restaurants.

As part of Mayor Megan Barry's plea deal, she will have to serve three years of unsupervised probation. The documents do not say the woman is Barry.

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Barry, who moved to Nashville in the early 1990s to attend graduate school at Vanderbilt University, worked in corprate ethics before becoming mayor, most recently at the Charlotte, N.C. -based health care company Premier.

The new mayor, in a statement, called it "a hard day for Nashville" but said Barry's resignation "will enable us to regain focus on the important work of our city". The photos were allegedly taken when the mayor and Forrest were on a trip together.

The mayor's willingness to talk about her only son's fatal drug overdose last summer engendered sympathy from residents.

In January, Barry publicly apologized for the almost two-year affair with the married bodyguard. Barry, 54, announced her resignation soon after.

Forrest also pleaded guilty to felony theft and will have to reimburse $45,000 that he was paid for time that he was actually spending with Barry, according to court documents.

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The revelation of the affair derailed the first term of a mayor who was seen a rising star among Democrats.

"While my time today as your mayor concludes, my unwavering love and honest affection for this wonderful city and its great people will never come to an end", Barry said on Tuesday shortly after a court appearance.

The officer, Robert Forest, resigned from the police department but Barry had insisted no professional misconduct took place - and said she would not resign.

February 1: Can Nashville mayor weather a sex scandal?

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