The (now former) Democratic mayor of Nashville is getting zero jail time after pleading guilty to stealing thousands in taxpayer dollars to jet around the world with her lover – who also happened to be the head of her security detail.
Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, who’s married, admitted to an on-going affair with Metro police Sgt. Robert Forrest Jr. (also married), and resigned Tuesday after pleading guilty to spending gobs of taxpayer cash on the pair’s “business” travel expenses.
The Tennessean reports the pair spent about $33,000 on various trips together over 10 months, including trips to Paris, Athens, Washington, D.C., New York, Denver, Oakland, Salt Lake City and Kansas City.
“According to travel records obtained by The Tennessean, the bill for Forrest’s trips between January 2017 and October 2017 was $21,712. Barry’s travel expenses between Jan. 1, 2017, and this year totaled $11,382.”
The News Tribune reports that Forrest also raked in about $50,000 in overtime pay in 2017, adding that "Metro Nashville Police records show Forrest's overtime more than doubled from 2014-15 to the 2016-17 budget year. Barry was elected in September 2015. Barry said the affair began in spring 2016, according to an affidavit."
Despite pleading guilty to stealing money from her constituents and carrying on an extramarital affair with her body guard while on the public’s time and dime, Barry was sentenced to three years of probation and avoided jail time after agreeing to reimburse the city the $11,000 she’d spent on travel (which she still maintains was for “business”).
Seriously. That's it.
“Forrest pleaded guilty to the same felony theft charge and agreed to reimburse the city $45,000 that was paid to him as salary or overtime when he was not performing his duties as the mayor's security detail,” the News Tribune adds.
Which, as far as I can tell, still leaves the nearly $22,000 in taxpayer cash that Forrest spent on travel while…erm, “protecting” his mistress.
But hey, taxpayers shouldn’t be worried about a system that allows elected officials to steal their money to go on expensive trips with their extramarital lovers/body guards and then walk away with a slap on the wrist and a finger-wag.
Everything’s totally fine. We’re fine.