Nashville Mayor Megan Barry has said she needed to travel with a polie officer for safety, but records show she routinely made trips without security from her September 2015 inauguration until June 2016.
Barry admited last week that she had an extramarital affair with Sgt. Rob Forrest, the head of her security detail.The affair began in the spring of 2016 and is over although Barry has not said when it ended.
Forrest, who formally retired Jan. 31, traveled with Barry on out-of-town trips beginning in June 2016, including nine trips in 2017 during which he was the only city employee to accompany the mayor.
In her first nine months in office, Barry, a Democrat, took nine out-of-town business trips, according to travel records. On six trips she went by herself or with other city employees who were not police officers.
On three trips during that time period she traveled with other city employees and security, twice with Forrest. The first travel with only Barry and Forrest was a Chattanooga trip from June 30 to July 1, 2016.
In a statement Monday evening, Barry's spokesman explained the change in security traveling with the mayor.
"This was based on the recommendations of the police department that Mayor Barry have police detail on all official business trips, increases in terrorist attacks and mass shootings both domestic and international, and because we had an opportunity to learn what worked best in terms of logistics for travel," Barry spokesman Sean Braisted said in a statement released with the travel records.
The day she admitted to the affair, Barry said, “when I came into office, (Police Chief Steve Anderson) said that you are always the mayor and you should be secured appropriately.”