Nashville police chief calls Sgt. Forrest's guilty plea 'betrayal of the citizens'

(Fox 17 News)

Metro Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson shared strong words after Sgt. Robert Forrest pleaded guilty to felony charges related to his affair with Nashville Mayor Megan Barry.

Chief Anderson released this statement on Tuesday:

"Today's conditional guilty plea by rob Forrest and the associated statement of facts are indicative of his betrayal of the citizens of Nashville and the men and woman of this police department. Forrest was in a unique assignment away from his chain of command on a daily basis. From all accounts, he had performed well in that assignment during the Purcell and Dean administrations. Forrest's supervisors trusted him. We now know that he betrayed that trust during the Barry administration, leaving behind a sentiment of disdain among those who continue in their work with the Metropolitan Police Department. I am among those who share that sentiment."

Nashville District Attorney Glenn Funk has announced the terms of plea agreements by Nashville Mayor Megan Barry and her former head of security Robert Forrest on Tuesday.

Forrest entered a guilty plea to theft of property over $10,000. As a term of his probation, he will reimburse the city $45,000 paid to him as salary and overtime when he was not actually working as the mayor's security detail. Forrest will also serve three years probation.

Earlier on Tuesday morning, Mayor Barry conditionally pleaded guilty to theft of property over $10,000. She will pay restitution of $11,000 for "unlawful expenditures."

The District Attorney's office said Forrest admitted that he improperly received more than $10,000 in city compensation for time reported as work hours, which were actually personal time with Megan Barry. According to the DA, Megan Barry’s personal time did not involve the duties of her office or her official capacity, which is why she was charged with and pleaded guilty to theft of property.

Barry will also be subjected to three years probation. The DA's office said since she paid the restitution, Barry will be on unsupervised probation. This means she will not have a probation officer and her travel within the U.S. is not restricted.

If both successfully complete probation, their conditional pleas mean they can petition the court to have the charges removed from criminal record.

The Metro Employee Benefit Board said Forrest's pension will be reduced if he collected any overtime improperly. Pensions are based on the employee's best 60 months of earnings.

“If it comes before the board that we make a decision to adjust it or not, yes, I would want the pension to reflect correct earnings,” Mark Young said.

The next Metro Employee Benefit Board meeting will be April, which is the earliest Forrest could see his pension reduced.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation ended its investigation on Tuesday.


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