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What power Metro Council, Nashvillians have with concerns over Mayor Barry's affair

(Fox 17 News)

Following Nashville Mayor Megan Barry's admission to an affair with the head of her security detail, many people are questioning what power Metro Council and the people of Nashville hold.

Mayor Barry is the CEO of Nashville, and members of the Metro Nashville Council are concerned with the news of her affair while in office.

“Regardless of what’s going on, the show must and will go on," Councilman Scott Davis said.

Metro Council has a regularly scheduled meeting next Tuesday. Prior to the meeting, they have to address the fallout of the affair between Mayor Barry and Sgt. Rob Forrest, head of her security detail.

What can Metro Council do?

There are some actions that the Metro Council can take, and one is already at play.

Councilwoman Tanaka Vercher, head of the Budget and Finance committee, requested an inquiry into the possibility that funds were inappropriately used during the affair. If proof is found, it would be turned over law enforcement as a criminal matter.

“It’s part of her job," Davis said. "it's not glamorous, and it’s not the easiest. It's probably one of the hardest things that this talented young lady will do, and we’re going to support her. She will ask respectful questions, but she will always make sure that we are fiduciary responsible for the people and their money."

Next, the Metro Council Ethics Committee could conduct a review into Barry and Forrest's behavior while on the taxpayer's dime. Councilwoman Sheri Weiner, head of the ethics committee said there is currently not an investigation. In order for them to do an investigation, a complaint must be brought to the committee.

What can the people of Nashville do?

As for the power of the people, voters have two options. Voters can submit a complaint to the council ethics board requesting a review

voters can also submit a petition to council members. In order for the petition signatures to count, they must be signed pen to paper by people who were registered voters in the last election.

Once submitted, council members would submit the request for resignation before the rest of the council.

In the meantime, council members are asking that everyone be patient with them and trust the process.

“I don’t want people at home to worry, and I want you to continue to keep asking your questions and please keep positive in all aspects of everything,” Davis said.

As of now, Barry has not been asked to take leave or to resign. If either were to happen, Vice Mayor David Briley would serve as interim Mayor. Councilwoman and President Pro Tempore Sheri Weiner would then serve as vice mayor.

District Attorney Glenn Funk has asked the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to investigate after news of Mayor Barry's affair.

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