Metro special committee to investigate how taxpayer dollars spen - WSMV News 4

Metro special committee to investigate how taxpayer dollars spent in Barry affair

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A Metro Council special committee will investigate how taxpayer money was used in relation to Nashville Mayor Megan Barry's affair with her former bodyguard.

The resolution passed Tuesday night, laying out the details for the committee. They are looking into travel and overtime and other expenses.

"What we are trying to establish is public accountability," said Tanaka Vercher, Metro Councilwoman for District 28.

According to the resolution, the vice mayor will appoint three to seven councilmembers. They will dig into how taxpayer dollars were spent during the mayor's affair with her former bodyguard Rob Forrest. 

District 19 Councilman Freddie O'Connell told News4 how this process differs from the TBI criminal investigation requested last week by District Attorney Glenn Funk.

"I think this committee's role is very different in that it is maybe looking at what do we need to do as a preventive measure, as a responsive measure, in addition to looking at what do we need to do to ensure that taxpayers funding is being used wisely," O'Connell said.

The special committee has subpoena power, and members can get outside legal or accounting help before they make a recommendation to Metro Council. 

News4's Briona Arradondo asked whether the special committee recommend that the mayor step down.

"You know they would be able to make that recommendation," O'Connell said. "We might be able to do a resolution of censure of some sort, but we would have no power to ensure the mayor would resign no matter if that were a recommendation of the committee."

After last night's council meeting, the vice mayor has seven days to come up with a special committee. 

There's no timeline on how soon a report would end up before Metro Council.

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