NASHVILLE, Tenn. (CN) – Embattled Nashville Mayor Megan Barry said Tuesday she is stepping down after pleading guilty to stealing money from the city and admitting to an affair with her former bodyguard.
Barry, 54, pleaded guilty Tuesday morning to a charge of felony theft over $10,000. The charge reportedly stems from the affair taking place during trips paid for by the city.
In January, she acknowledged reports that she had been having an extramarital affair with her former bodyguard, Sgt. Robert Forrest, who retired the day Barry admitted to the affair. Forrest’s wife has since filed for divorce.
Barry, a Democrat, will be replaced at 5 p.m. local time by Vice Mayor David Briley.
“While my time as your mayor concludes today, my unwavering love and sincere affection for this wonderful city and its great people shall never come to an end,” Barry said in a statement. “No one is as excited about this city, and its bright and limitless future, than I am.”
Her plea deal requires Barry to serve three years of probation and repay the city $11,000. Forrest, 58, has pleaded guilty to the same felony theft charge.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said it found two photos of a woman, one fully nude and one partially nude, taken by Forrest’s phone, but the agency did not identify the woman. Barry said if they are of her, they were taken without permission.
Barry, who is married, has said the affair with Forrest is over.
A special election will be held in August to select a new mayor.
“It has been the honor and it has been the privilege of my entire professional life to have had the blessing of this opportunity to be your mayor,” Barry said Tuesday. “God bless this wonderful city. I love you, Nashville.”