Nashvillians question salary for Mayor Barry’s former head of security during affair

(FOX 17 News)

All eyes are on Nashville Mayor Megan Barry and her former head of security Sgt. Rob Forrest, after the Mayor publicly admitted to their affair on Wednesday.

Metro Nashville Police revealed Sgt. Forrest’s salary and overtime pay during Karl Dean’s time as mayor as well as Mayor Barry as questions surfaced about illegal use of taxpayer money during their affair.

District Attorney Glenn Funk has 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.

According to the records, Sgt. Forrest’s total salary and overtime pay was $111,070.18 during fiscal year 2014-2015 with Mayor Dean. During his time with Mayor Barry, Sgt. Forrest’s total salary and overtime pay was $157,187.20 during fiscal year 2016-2017 according to MNPD records.

The pay increase is not sitting well with taxpayers in Nashville.

“It looks like there's some impropriety there,” Nashville resident Randy Navarro said. “There are some things our elected officials will have to look at to see if there was something that was done incorrectly or if there was some favoritism in place here.”

“That money could have gone to our public education,” Nashville resident Tanji Dement said. “The schools still have old books and everything. Some have mold.

Fox 17 News compared Sgt. Forrest’s pay to cities similar in size to Nashville. Milwaukee Police said their mayor’s head of security made nearly $93,000 without overtime last fiscal year. Sgt. Forrest’s salary without overtime last fiscal year was more than $73,000. Fox 17 News is still waiting on the public records request with the city of Milwaukee for the total salary and overtime pay for their mayor’s head of security.

City reps in both Charlotte, North Carolina and Austin, Texas said there is not a special security detail assigned to their mayors. Charlotte’s mayor is also a woman and the city rep said she travels on her own.

Still there are lots of questions in Nashville about money.

“There could be a more innocent explanation,” Nashville resident Dan Slattery said. “It could be that she travels more, has a more active schedule, a variety of legitimate factors and it could be something other than that but I think it's something worthy of investigation.”

“I'm really concerned are they sharing the same values, same morals and how would I be judged as a business owner if I was to do those same things? I would probably be removed to my job,” Nashville resident Randy Navarro said.

Fox 17 News sat down with Belmont Professor Jeremy Fyke for some insight on the mayor's decision to publicly admit to her affair and what this might mean for her administration's future.

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