I-Team: Before scandal, Barry campaigned on her expertise in ethics

Mayor Barry used her ethics expertise in her campaign for Metro Council. (Source: YouTube/meganbarry2011)

As new pictures emerge of Barry and her bodyguard traveling together in out of town trips, campaign videos and her LinkedIn profile show how the mayor touted her own expertise in ethics before being elected.

The photos show Barry and former Sgt. Rob Forrest in New York and in Paris. These are just two of the trips the News 4 I-Team found the two had taken in 2017 while the affair was continuing, including nine trips in which the two traveled alone.

The two are the subject of a TBI investigation into whether they violated any criminal law including misappropriation of public funds and official misconduct.

The revelations of the affair are in stark contrast to Barry’s campaign videos from 2015, in which she is described as “a businesswoman dedicated to ethical public service" and having “more than 20 years of business ethics expertise in the private sector."

While many politicians cite their ethical behavior, Barry truly is an expert in the workplace.

Her LinkedIn profile reads that she was the ethics and compliance officer for Premier, Inc. between 2003 and 2012.

Barry also discussed her work in ethics in her own private company, Barry and Associates, and lectured about ethics to university students. She also discussed her work in ethics in many articles before and after the campaign.

Barry said in her news conference Wednesday that her affair was a personal failure but that all her trips were business related and she needed security, regardless of if she was romantically involved with Forrest.

John Potter, a professor at Southern Methodist University who is an expert in apologies by public figures, said Barry made the right move in acknowledging her mistake.

“We hold her to a higher standard because of that degree and that training. But unfortunately, we are all human. And even having a master's degree in ethics doesn't avoid you being human and doesn't avoid your ability to apologize."

Potter said there are five key elements of a public apology to make it effective, including showing remorse and offering remedy, and he believes she did that in her speech.

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Chief Investigative Reporter

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