The TBI has issued a search warrant for the cell phone of Nashville Mayor Megan Barry after she and her lawyer refused to provide the passcode a part of an investigation into whether there was criminal wrongdoing during her affair with her former bodyguard.
Also released with the search warrant was an affidavit that mentioned now-deleted nude photos, presumably of Barry, that were recovered from Sgt. Rob Forrest's work phone by investigators.
A warrant obtained on Tuesday said the mayor and her attorney Jerry Martin had turned over her work phone but declined to provide the passcode.
"Due to the fact that Megan Barry has thus far refused to provide the passcode to her phone, the only process for examining the phone known is to have the phone unlocked by a third party," according to the affidavit.
Criminal Court Judge Steve Dozier approved the original search warrants for Barry and Sgt. Rob Forrest's iPhones on Feb. 16 as part of the TBI investigation.
The warrants ask for "any and all electronic data to include recordings, images, emails, SMS messages, MMS messages, instant messages, chats, iMessages, call logs, contact lists, audio recordings, video recordings, photographs and GPS or geolocation information."
According to the affidavit, Barry has refused to provide the passcode to her phone, prompting a second search warrant to be requested and executed on Tuesday to allow the phone to be submitted to a third-party contractor to bypass the passcode.
Mayor Barry's spokesman, Sean Braisted, referred questions about the warrants and investigation to the TBI or Jerry Martin, Barry's personal attorney.
News 4 has reached out to the Metro Nashville Police Department and Forrest for comment.
Search warrants are returned to the criminal court clerk's office and filed when they have been executed.RELATED CONTENT: FULL INTERVIEW: Mayor Megan Barry denies knowledge of alleged lewd photos | Nashville mayor admits affair with security chief | TBI to investigate if Mayor Barry broke law during affair with bodyguard| Mayor, bodyguard lingered on taxpayer-funded trips after public events | Attorney: Mayor Barry not involved in inappropriate relationships with other Metro employees | Metro paid for bodyguard’s hotel rooms even on days off | FULL INTERVIEW: Mayor Barry answers questions related to affair with former bodyguard | Rally calls on Mayor Barry to resign in wake of affairAccording to the affidavit returned with the warrant, authorities believe that Forrest used a police department-issued cellphone to take photographs of a nude or partially nude woman, believed to be Barry, on May 15, 2017, and Oct. 18, 2017, while on duty.
Detectives found emails of the pictures were sent to Forrest's work email account and believe he sent them to himself.
Barry vehemently denied knowledge of the photos, saying in a statement released Thursday evening, "if they were of me, they were taken without my knowledge or permission and a complete invasion of my privacy."
Police also found there could be deleted phone logs and hundreds of deleted chats between Forrest and Barry on at least one of the devices that were being searched.
The TBI will send the devices to a third-party to try to determine what had been deleted from the phones.
In an interview with News 4, Barry further responded to the shocking allegations released by the TBI.
"It is clear today with this affidavit that was released to the media, that this should have been sealed and it should have been sealed until the end of this investigation," Barry told News4. 'It was completely designed to humiliate me and politically embarrass me. Therefore, it’s clear I have to make sure I am protecting my personal rights as we move through this."
Mayor Barry's full statement on the TBI's search warrant and affidavit released on Feb. 22:“The allegations of photos taken of myself are very troubling and infuriating if true. While I have not seen the photos in question, if they were of me, they were taken without my knowledge or permission and a complete invasion of my privacy.
“Nothing in the affidavits released today, which should have been sealed until the conclusion of this investigation, indicates that I have committed any actions that violate the law. If any violations of the law occurred, they were in violating my personal rights.
“We will continue to cooperate with the ongoing TBI investigation, but the release of this affidavit to the media in an attempt to politically damage or embarrass me is an example of why I will continue to protect my personal rights in this process.”Barry admitted to having an extramarital affair with Sgt. Rob Forrest, who was formerly her chief security officer before his retirement effective on Jan. 31, the day the affair was made public.
District Attorney General Glenn Funk released a statement the following day, asking the TBI to look into whether Barry or others violated any criminal laws.RELATED DOCUMENTS: Search warrants: State of Tennessee vs. Megan Barry and Rob Forrest | Mayor Megan Barry's travel schedule | Travel expenses for Mayor Megan Barry and Sgt. Rob Forrest | Mayor Megan Barry's calendar - Jan. 1, 2017-Jan. 26, 2018 | Sgt. Rob Forrest's retirement letter | Sgt. Rob Forrest's statement (1/31/18)The News 4 I-Team found that Barry and Forrest took nine trips together – just the two of them – in 2017. Some of those locations included Athens, Greece, San Francisco and New York City, all tied to leadership or work-related trips.
On the nine trips when Barry and Forrest traveled alone, taxpayers paid more than $14,000 in travel costs.
Forrest has also earned more than $119,000 in overtime since 2015 when Barry took office.
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