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How Much Did Affair Cost Taxpayers? Audit Can't Say

The Investigations That Mayor Megan Barry Could Face
Posted at 4:48 PM, Aug 22, 2018

Almost six months after Megan Barry's resignation as Nashville's mayor, a new audit is out on how much her affair cost the city.

And the answer is: nobody knows.

NewsChannel 5 Investigates first exposed the relationship between Barry and the head of her security detail, police Sgt. Rob Forrest.

Both pleaded guilty to theft charges back in March, and Barry resigned. The new Metro audit says their guilty pleas are evidence that they misspent taxpayer money in overtime and travel. 

But auditors were not able to put a price tag on those expenses.

The audit shows the conclusion of the following allegations:

  1. Sergeant Robert Forrest conducted non-Metro business-related activities while being paid by the Metropolitan Nashville Government is substantiated
  2. The allegation that Barry and Sgt. Forrest used Metropolitan Nashville Government public funds to pay for out of town travel whose purpose was exclusively personal is unsubstantiated.
  3. Barry and Sgt. Forrest's guilty pleas do not comply with the Metropolitan Nashville Government employee standards of conduct

And they did not find evidence that any trips were for purely personal reasons.

As part of their plea deals, the couple agreed to pay back a total of $56,000. As for the audit itself, it cost taxpayers about $100,000.

It outlined the committee's "Investigation Constraints." It says the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation did not release the results of its investigation.

They were also not able to "perform digital forensic" on her work cell phone because "Barry did not frequently use her Metropolitan Nashville Government issued iPhone and was having difficulty remembering the assigned pin code."

The audit makes several recommendations for each of the following departments: Metropolitan Nashville Government Department of Finance, Metropolitan Nashville Government Mayor’s Office and Metropolitan Nashville Government Human Resources Department.

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City Hall Scandal