Group files ethics complaint to Metro Council after Mayor Barry's affair

(FOX 17 News)

A week after Nashville Mayor Megan Barry admitted an affair, a group is asking for an ethics investigation on Wednesday.

The latest complaint filed on Wednesday is the third investigation request regarding the mayor’s two-year affair with her former head of security detail Sgt. Rob Forrest.

On Tuesday night, the Metro Council voted to form a special committee to investigate if the mayor misused taxpayer money during the affair.

District Attorney Glenn Funk also asked the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to investigate whether Barry and others, including her former head of security Sgt. Rob Forrest, violated any criminal law including misappropriation of public funds and official misconduct throughout the affair.

Theeda Murphy filed her complaint on behalf of the Community Oversight Now collation, claiming the affair impacted the mayor’s actions with the Metro Nashville Police Department.

“The Community Oversight Now coalition, we're not taking any stand on whether the Mayor should resign," Murphy said. "We're not trying to destroy her tenure as mayor. We are simply looking for accountability from our government at every level. She is an ethics expert so she knows how important it is for people to have trust in their government.“

The complaint outlines the past two years, including the deadly officer-involved shooting of Jocques Clemmons and the call for an oversight board as a result.

“Dismissing our complaints or dismissing our concerns," Murphy said. "In light of all that, when it comes out last week that she's having this secret affair with a police officer, then we felt you have to investigate and see whether that relationship improperly influenced her decisions.”

The Mayor Barry's office released this statement in response to the ethics complainnt:

"Mayor Barry has taken policy positions she believes are in the best interest of the entire community based on staff and community input. The COB legislation was deferred indefinitely by the Metro Council and only five of 39 members voted in favor of bringing it back for consideration. The Mayor’s Office has been working with the Policing Project to bring them to Nashville to help facilitate conversations with many issues related to policing, including greater community involvement. We hope that those conversations will help to inform conversations about community oversight. We will cooperate with any investigations into the matter of the Mayor’s relationship."

The mayor also spoke about being transparent throughout the investigation process in her statement last week, saying nothing illegal happened during the affair.

Several trips made by the mayor and Sgt. Forrest alone have been called into question as well as pay and overtime pay increases for Sgt. Forrest. On Tuesday, the mayor released a statement about providing a letter of recommendation for Forrest's daughter when she applied for a position in Metro's legal department.

Read the full ethics complaint filed by Community Oversight Now below:

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