Metro Council creates committee to investigate Mayor's affair


Vice Mayor David Briley has appointed seven Councilmembers to serve on a committee to investigate Mayor Megan Barry’s travel and other expenses.

Briley named Erica Gilmore, Bob Mendes, Brenda Haywood, Robert Swope, Burkley Allen, Mina Johnson and Russ Pulley to serve on the special committee created by Council vote in last week’s meeting.

Briley wrote a letter to the Councilmembers on Monday asking them to serve. Briley offered his personal recommendations for the Committee.

“Because the Charter provision upon which the Council relied was adopted before the adoption of many other provisions of law, and has only been used once before, I am also writing to offer my personal recommendations for the Committee,” Briley wrote in the letter.

Briley urges the committee to be seen as “fair and impartial” and frugal use of resources.

When a conclusion is reached, Briley wrote: “It is clear to me, though, that public acceptance will be more likely if they are unanimous or at least broadly agreed to.”

In a meeting Thursday, councilmembers appointed District 18 Councilwoman Allen as chair of the special committee.

Some concerns about the appointment could be raised, considering that Allen was one of the seven councilmembers (out of 40) to vote against creating the special committee. Not to mention, Barry lives in her district.

Special committee votes to bring in outside counsel. Vice mayor briley will bring a few options at next meeting. @WSMV— Kevin Trager (@KevinWSMV) February 15, 2018

Briley urged the committee to obtain outside counsel to coordinate efforts with the Metro Auditor and Board of Ethical Conduct.

Officials from the Metro Nashville Office on Internal Audit confirmed earlier this week the request for the Metro Audit Committee to investigate Mayor Megan Barry's affair was approved.

The council also voted Tuesday to bring in outside counsel to consult on the investigation.

Briley will bring a few options to the committee's next meeting.

“It is my understanding that the Metro Audit Committee will consider a request for an investigation (Tuesday). So, prompt action in this regard is required,” wrote Briley.

The committee is charged with investigating whether money was spent improperly by Mayor Megan Barry involving her admitted affair with Sgt. Rob Forrest, the former head of her security guard who retired from the Metro Police Department last month.

Briley said the committee should engage in a complete, objective investigation of “the circumstances involving travel and other expenses, including overtime expenses, potentially related to the Mayor’s admitted improprieties involving an employee of the Metropolitan Government to determine if there was any improper use of public money.”

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