Councilman says Mayor Barry can’t question finances while hers are under investigation

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Councilman Steve Glover believes Mayor Megan Barry shouldn’t make financial recommendations while her finances are being scrutinized.

“It’s beyond hypocritical,” Glover told News 2.

The recommendations Glover is referring to surround Metro General Hospital. The Board of Budget and Finance plan on discussing the recommendations at their meeting Monday.RELATED: Many angered over mayor’s plan for Nashville General Hospital

In November, Mayor Barry wrote a letter saying she wanted to move to shut down Metro General Hospital’s inpatient services to save money.

The letter came as a shock to the hospital and Metro’s Hospital Authority.

After debate and controversy, the mayor backtracked and in a letter dated January 11, said she wanted to keep the hospital open through 2018 so there could be an open dialogue about how to move forward.

The administration said it would give the hospital $13.2 million, but that other items would have to receive cuts including employee tuition reimburse, historic preservation and the Housing Incentive Pilot, which offers money to developers who offer affordable housing units.

Glover said the committee must review the cuts with a keen eye.

“Before we start playing games like we’re playing now with this bunch of garbage, we have to be truthful with one another, and truth is not something we’ve seen in a while,” Glover told News 2.

Glover questions if the mayor or her administration can suggest cuts or the like when her own finances are under scrutiny.TIMELINE: 2017 travel records of Mayor Barry and staff

The mayor’s former head of the security, Sgt. Rob Forrest, earned $75,000 in overtime alone in 2017. According to the Metro police, he earned more overtime than any other police officer in the department.

It is also known the pair traveled together alone nine times in 2017, including to Athens, Greece. Two days of that trip, which was taxpayer funded, show that the mayor didn’t have anything on her schedule.

“Now that we’ve learned that you’ve spent money on travel and other things, it’s like, wait a minute, let’s make sure we’re on the same page,” said Glover.MORE: Questions surround Mayor Barry’s travel schedule after affair admission

Glover also points to the fact that the Davidson County District Attorney requested that the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation investigate Mayor Barry’s finances.

On Monday, a resolution was filed to create a special council committee to investigate the expenses when it comes to travel and overtime.

A spokesperson for the mayor, Sean Braisted, said in an email about Glover’s concerns, “the financial needs of the hospital have not changed.”

In a statement, the Director of Finance spokesperson said, “The mayor’s supplemental request for General Hospital is based on the recommendation of Director Lomax-O’dneal-a 32 year veteran of government finance-who will be on hand to answer any questions the councilman may have related to the hospital.”

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