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Nashville Mayor Megan Barry resigns, pleads guilty to theft following affair with security detail

Christina Gregg

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry agreed to resign on Tuesday as part of a plea deal regarding a felony theft charge, about one month after admitting to an extramarital affair with her bodyguard.

Barry entered her guilty plea on Tuesday and was reportedly sentenced to three years' probation and a fine. The Tennessee politician had initially planned to stay in office following the revelation that she had an intimate relationship with Sgt. Robert Forrest, but an ethics review and special committee's probe into misuse of funds led the Democrat to cede her role.

Forrest also pleaded guilty to theft on Tuesday and was sentenced to three years of probation. He must reimburse the city of Nashville $45,000 for the pay he received when he wasn't acting in his role as a member of Barry's security detail.

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The 54-year-old Democratic mayor has served in her municipal position since 2015, and news of her extramarital relationship comes after Barry lost her 22-year-old son, Max, to a drug overdose last July.

According to the Tennessean, Barry's affair with Sgt. Robert Forrest Jr. of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department began in 2016 as the 58-year-old officer became a frequent presence in public events and on trips with the mayor.

Forrest also commented on the affair, saying he regrets the dynamic he had with Barry.

"I deeply regret that my professional relationship with Mayor Barry turned into a personal one," Forrest said in a statement to the Tennessean. "This has caused great pain for my wife, my family, friends and colleagues. At no time did I ever violate my oath as a police officer or engage in actions that would abuse the public trust."

The public announcement and apology will likely shape the nature of a May vote on a hotly-debated Nashville infrastructure project expected to cost $5.4 billion that Barry has backed.

"People that we admire can also be flawed humans, and I'm flawed, and I'm incredibly sad and sorry for the disappointment that I will see in those little girls' faces," Barry continued in her announcement. "But, what I hope they can also see is that people make mistakes, and you move on from those."

RELATED: Max Barry dies of a drug overdose