The Tennessean’s Clarksville-based liberal columnist and opinion writer Saritha Prabhu penned a passionate call on Mayor Megan Barry to resign from office Friday afternoon after a new wave of revelations surrounding Barry’s affair and cover-up with top staffer Rob Forrest came to light.
“Disappointed on many levels describes how I feel about the Megan Barry situation,” she begins, in a surprisingly candid and heartfelt indictment of Nashville’s first woman to hold its top elected office:
Mayor Barry shocked and saddened our Middle Tennessee community when she revealed recently that she had had a nearly two-year extramarital affair with her top security officer.
I live in Clarksville, but I was proud when Nashville elected its first female mayor in late 2015.
But now, each new revelation about the affair has been damning to her and to her continued political survival.
To cut to the chase: She should do Nashville and herself a favor and resign.
To continue as mayor would be to prolong the ugliness, and drip-drip nature of the revelations, and to further undercut her authority to lead.
If this had been an affair with a private citizen on her own dime, it’d probably be none of our business.
But this is different, and both the optics and substance look terrible: a Metro employee, her subordinate, several out-of-state and overseas trips alone with him, massive overtime pay for him, extra days on some trips seemingly paid for with taxpayer dollars.
Just the difference in overtime pay that Sgt. Robert Forrest Jr. earned in different years looks ridiculous: He earned $75,462 just in overtime during the 2016-17 fiscal year compared to the $31,748 he earned in 2013-14 when Karl Dean was mayor.
There seems to have been an astonishing amount of hubris, nonchalance, and lack of judgment on Barry’s part.
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