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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Megan Barry resigned as Nashville’s mayor Tuesday morning per conditions of a plea agreement for felony theft charges.
“My time today as mayor concludes. My unwavering love and sincere affection for this city and its great people will never come to an end,” said Barry in a press conference.
Vice Mayor David Briley was sworn into office at 5 p.m. He is the eighth mayor of Metro Nashville. Councilmember Sheri Weiner will now be vice mayor.
Briley released a statement prior to his appointment as mayor:
“This is a hard day for Nashville. Mayor Barry’s resignation will enable us to regain focus on the important work of our city.
“My pledge is simple: As mayor, I will begin work immediately with a sole focus on managing the city and making progress on community priorities. That work will be transparent and be conducted with every effort to restore public trust, and move our great city forward.”
“Today is primarily about the smooth transition from my administration to that of vice mayor. I would be remiss if I did not thank the thousands and thousands of people who have reached out to me,” said Barry.
“God bless this wonderful city, I love you Nashville,” said Barry as she ended her press conference.
One condition of Barry’s plea agreement was to resign from the office of mayor.
Barry pleaded guilty to felony theft of property over $10,000 charges. It is a conditional plea agreement and Barry will receive three years of unsupervised probation
She also must pay $11,000 in restitution and if she follows her plea agreement for next three years, the charges can be dismissed and expunged.
In court, District Attorney General Glenn Funk said that had the case gone to trial, witnesses would have testified that between March 2016 and February 2018 Barry caused over $10,000 and less than $60,000 of Metro Nashville city funds to be expended unlawfully.
Mayor Barry had been under investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Metro Council since she admitted to an extramarital affair with her former head of security, Sgt. Robert Forest on Jan. 31.
The relationship, she said was consensual, and began shortly after she took office in 2015.
Since news of the affair broke, Barry maintained nothing illegal took place and that the relationship with Forrest has ended.
Metro police records show Forrest’s overtime more than doubled in the budget year after Barry was elected in September 2015. Barry said the affair began in spring 2016, an affidavit said.
Barry has not said when the affair ended, only that it’s over. Forrest, who had spent more than 31 years with Metro Nashville Police Department and supervised the mayor’s security detail over three administrations, has retired.
Before her resignation Tuesday, Barry had remained adamant that she would not resign from her position.
“I have lots of work to do in this city and every day I get up and I do it,” she previously said. “I’ve been very forthcoming with everything. I think the citizens of Davidson County continue to want us to get up every day and work. I have a great team, we have great Metro employees that get up every day to make sure this city runs, and I’m going to continue to lead that.”Click here for complete coverage of Mayor Megan Barry.
*The Associated Press contributed to this report.