Metro Council members, lawmakers respond to Barry's resignation, - WSMV News 4

Metro Council members, lawmakers respond to Barry's resignation, plea

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(WSMV file photo) (WSMV file photo)

News4 spoke with several Metro Council members and state lawmakers -- both critics and supporters of former Mayor Megan Barry -- about her shocking resignation and plea deal to find out what they had to say on the matter. 

"God bless this wonderful city.  I love you Nashville."

Those were Mayor Megan Barry's last words at a news conference announcing her resignation. It really came as a love letter to Nashville. 

Perhaps, what was most notable, was what she didn't say rather than what she did.

In her press conference, Barry didn't talk about the fact that she had just pleaded guilty to theft. She didn't talk about the fact that she is now a felon. She didn't apologize and she did not answer questions. 

Instead, she talked about her accomplishments during her years in office and thank her staff and the thousands who have supported her. 

"Its almost like you split up a press conference into two parts," said District 19 Councilman Freddie O'Connell. "The first one was the one where she did offer that apology and she did admit wrongdoing -- and today, I think its hard for her because she is stepping away from an administration that she shaped, and I understand why that's got to be hard and I understand why remorse isn't as chief for her today as goodbye is difficult."

Just like the public, many Metro Council members were shocked by news of the sex scandal and the plea deal Barry and Forrest were offered in lieu of federal theft charges. 

They knew Barry's resignation was a possibility, but they didn't know it would happen today or that it would happen like this. 

Barry submitted a resignation letter to the Metro Clerk and now-Mayor David Briley on Tuesday morning.  The news then spread quickly among councilmembers. 

Those we spoke to say two main things: 

First, in light of the criminal charges Barry is facing, they think she needed to resign. They said, at this point, her sex scandal and now-closed criminal investigation have become too much of a distraction. 

Second, however, the councilmembers that spoke with News4 said they are sorry that any of this had to happen. 

"It's obvious she's hurting, and I think one of the things she said about thousands of people praying for her, and I'm one of those," said District 12 Councilman Steve Glover, who has been a big critic of the former mayor during her two-and-a-half years in office. " I think that's what we need to continue to do."

Since her resignation, Glover said his main focus is now Nashville's future. 

"I don't think anybody is happy about this," Glover told News4. " I don't think the city can be happy, but we are where we are, and I think the only good news is now we begin the process of healing."

O'Connell also appears to have his eyes toward the future, as well, tweeting, "The work of the city must continue," referencing Tuesday night's Metro Council meeting and his latest project to eliminate jail fees

Metro Council members aren't the only leaders affected by the news. 

State Rep. Mike Stewart (D-Nashville), is also weighing in on today's events. News4 Reporter Carley Gordon asked him in Barry's actions will hurt the state Democratic Party in the future. 

"Obviously, in this case, we had the scandal but that really doesn't change the longtime legacy of management we've seen with many leaders in Nashville," Rep. Stewart said. "The notion that the Republican Party, which is bankrupting our country, should now come in and run our city -- I think that's one of the most preposterous ideas I've heard yet."

Before she was mayor, Megan Barry served as a member of Metro Council. 

For more on what's being said about Barry, click here

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