Vice Mayor David Briley has named the seven council members to serve on its special committee to investigate whether Mayor Megan Barry used money improperly during her affair with the head of her security detail.
The group comprises Erica Gilmore, Bob Mendes, Brenda Haywood, Robert Swope, Burkley Allen, Mina Johnson and Russ Pulley. Briley set the committee's first public meeting for Thursday afternoon.
The members chosen for the investigation run the gamut from those who strongly pushed for the probe, like Mendes, to two who said it was unnecessary — Pulley and Allen. And while most council members have made public statements about the affair, the committee includes two members — Haywood and Swope — who have not yet weighed in (Haywood does chair a subcommittee that voted unanimously in favor of the investigation).
In Briley's letter to the committee, he wrote that its objective is to determine "the circumstances involving travel and other expenses, including overtime expenses, and that its conduct should 'be seen as fair and impartial.' "
He also implored the members to refrain from speaking more about the deliberation outside of public meetings. "Each of your comments will be subject to more scrutiny than normal and a misinterpretation might lead to suspicion of your neutrality," he wrote.
The Metro Council approved the formation of a special committee was approved in a close — and rare — vote earlier this month.
It's one of three pending investigations that Barry faces in the aftermath of her affair with Sgt. Rob Forrest: The Council's Ethical Conduct Board will discuss investigating whether the relationship affected Barry's policies on police issues, and state agents with the TBI will investigate whether there was misappropriation of public funds or official misconduct. The TBI will then submit a report to the district attorney, who will decide whether to prosecute anyone.