Sgt. Rob Forrest, the former bodyguard for ex-Mayor Megan Barry, was a 31-year veteran of the Nashville Police Department — which entitles him to a hefty pension. But after he pleaded guilty to felony theft earlier this week, that pension could be at risk.
Under the Metro Charter, Nashville's Employee Benefit Board has the right to adjust or terminate any city-funded pension. And it's likely they'll be taking a close look at Sgt. Forrest's in the coming months — questioning whether it should be adjusted or even axed all together. That's because of his guilty plea following a years-long affair with former Mayor Megan Barry, during which Forrest earned more than $100,000 in overtime.
The city's Charter is clear. It declares that if someone is convicted of defrauding the system, the individual will forfeit his benefits. But, it's less cut-and-dried in this case. While Forrest is accused of defrauding the system, his plea deal gets him off the hook for a formal conviction. And if he stays out of trouble he can have his record expunged.
At the Board's monthly meeting, which happened to be the morning Forrest pleaded guilty, they approved his $74,000 annual retirement. But city officials say the matter could be put back on the agenda in the coming months.
Barry also pleaded guilty to felony theft and resigned from office earlier this week. Barry's pension, however, is not in question, since she didn't serve long enough to qualify for one.