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Nashville Mayor admits to affair with her head of security detail


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Nashville Mayor Megan Barry said she had an affair with the head of her security team as he announced his retirement on Wednesday.

Mayor Barry released the following statement about her extramarital affair:

“Today, I have acknowledged publicly that I have engaged in an extramarital affair with the former head of my security detail. I accept full responsibility for the pain I have caused my family and his. I am so sorry to my husband Bruce, who has stood by me in my darkest moments and remains committed to our marriage, just as I am committed to repairing the damage I have done. I also must apologize to the people of Nashville who elected me to serve as your mayor. I knew my actions could cause damage to my office and the ones I loved, but I did it anyway. I must hold myself to the highest standard of which the voters deserve to expect. Please know that I’m disappointed in myself but also understand that I’m a human and that I made a mistake. In 2015, I was elected to serve as Mayor of Nashville on a platform that included building more affordable housing, improving public education, and promoting better transportation options. We have made progress on these fronts – but there is more to be done. While I regret any distractions that will be caused by my actions, I remain firmly committed to working hard to serve the people of Nashville now and into the future. God will forgive me, but the people of Nashville don’t have to. In the weeks and months to come, I will work hard to earn your forgiveness and earn back your trust.”
Nashville mayor Megan Berry

Sgt. Rob Forrest is a Nashville native, who served as head of security for Nashville Mayors Bill Purcell, Phil Bredesen, Karl Dean, and Megan Barry.

In a statement released by his attorney, Forrest said he deeply regrets the affair and asks for privacy for his family as he seeks to rebuild trust.

"I deeply regret that my professional relationship with Mayor Barry turned into a personal one," Forrest wrote. "This has caused great pain for my wife, my family, friends and colleagues. At no time did I ever violate my oath and a police officer or engage in actions that would abuse the public trust."

He announced his retirement, effective Jan. 31, in a letter to the Metro Nashville Police Department sent on Jan. 17:

"I would like to inform you that I am retiring from the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department on Jan. 31, 2018. I have had an outstanding career and have enjoyed coming to work each day. I plan to make the transition as smooth as possible. I truly appreciate the support given to me during my 31 plus years of service to the MNPD."

Forrest notified Mayor Barry when her son Max died from an overdose last year. Forrest's website bio said he graduated from John Overton High School and Middle Tennessee State University. He has been married to his wife Penny for 28 years and served MNPD for 32 years.

Mayor Barry is set to hold a news conference at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. Circa's affiliate Fox 17 News will stream the news conference live online and on our Facebook page.

Barry said she remains committed to serving the people of Nashville in her role as mayor.

Circa's affiliate Fox 17 News filed an open records request for any documents or e-mails pertaining to Barry and Forrest. A travel itinerary provided by the mayor's office shows multiple business trips with just Barry and Forrest traveling together.

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