The Nashville Mayor’s Affair

Nashville’s first term mayor Megan Barry admitted yesterday that she had an extramarital affair with the police officer in charge of her security detail. She apologized “for the harm I’ve done to the people I love and the people who counted on me” but said she won’t be resigning. In a news conference, she said nothing illegal happened and no policies were violated. Her office released records of her text messages, calendar and travel expenses and records, and Barry said she will be transparent in cooperating with possible investigations. She accumulated more than $33,000 in travel expenses combined between her and the officer  from January 2017 to late October 2017, but claims all of the trips were business-related.

“I know that God will forgive me, but that Nashville doesn’t have to,” Barry said. “And I hope that I can earn their trust and I can earn your trust back, and that you will forgive me.”

Observations:

“Simply put, compliance with rules, including laws, isn’t the same as ethics. Compliance depends on an individual’s desire to avoid punishment. Ethical conduct arises from an individual’s genuine desire to do the right thing. The most unethical person in the world will comply if the punishment is stiff enough. But if he can do something unethical without breaking the rules, watch out!”

She knew this relationship was wrong, and not just because it was adulterous. In the Bill Clinton mold, the mayor is framing this as a matter of marital fealty rather than official misconduct—which it is—so she can argue that it’s just “personal private conduct.”

  • No policies were violated? So there areno policies that say that the security detail shouldn’t be fooling around with the official it is supposed to be protecting? There’s no policy that says that government supervisors should not hit on subordinates?

The conduct is unethical whether there are policies or not.

  • This is sexual harassment. The officer was a subordinate, and she was his boss, with the power to fire him or worse. There can be no genuine consent in such situations. In these cases with the typical genders reversed, neither the news media, nor the public, nor, in all likelihood, a hypothetical jury, would see it that way.

I’m right and they are wrong.

  • Barry’s playing the God Card is grounds to remove her all by itself.

Well yes, you despicable hack, God will also forgive Jack the Ripper if  Jack asks nicely enough. Being forgiven doesn’t mean you are trustworthy, and resorting to God in order to slither out of this scandal is signature significance that you are not.

Come on, #MeToo, show some integrity. Get this workplace predator kicked out of office.

And finally, this: the conservative media constantly points out that when Republicans are involved in scandals, the news media always places their party affiliation in the first paragraph, but when the miscreant is a Democrat, it is buried or not mentioned at all. Let’s use this story as a test:

1. NOLA (local), below: No mention of the Mayor’s party at all.

2. The Tennessean (local), below: Third paragraph.

3. USA Today: 22nd paragraph!

4. NPR: Nope!

5. NBC: Nope!

6. ABC: Nope!

Hmmmm.

 

_________________________

Sources: NOLA, Tennessean

28 Comments

Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Leadership

28 responses to “The Nashville Mayor’s Affair

  1. Other Bill

    And the guy she was having the affair with, her subordinate, has had to RETIRE! Hah!

    Her being deeply sorry makes her sound as if she’s deeply sorry she got caught.

    But hey, she’s a rising star and she campaigned for Hillary! Terry McAuliffe will be jetting in any day now to do an air drop of pallets of unmarked hundreds.

  2. Tom R

    I looked up her husband…I’d cheat on him too….

    Just kidding. She’s wrong and should step down.

  3. DaveL

    nothing illegal happened and no policies were violated

    You don’t even have a policy against schtupping your security detail? Don’t you think there ought to be?

    • That’s how I should have phrased it…

    • valkygrrl

      Did no one see The bodyguard?

      • Decent movie, with great emotions played. I may have to track it down and watch this weekend.

        This movie involved a private bodyguard, however, and thus while unethical, is not the same as the situation in question. The worst case was that Costner’s character could be fired, with a black mark (no references) but in government many worse things can happen if the subordinate doesn’t comply.

        But hey, Slick Willy was defended on the basis that this was just sex, so what is the big deal?

  4. To be fair, in corruption stories I think it’s just assumed that any big-city mayor is a Democrat, isn’t it?

    • Steve-O-in-NJ

      I can’t think of a one, although Jersey City briefly had a GOP mayor and NYC had GOP mayors for 2 decades. Newark doesn’t even have partisan elections. In fact Sharpe James served 5 terms before finally stepping down (under investigation, which eventually put him in jail), and the current mayor is probably on track to be mayor until he decides he no longer wants to be.

  5. Steve-O-in-NJ

    (shrug) Of course her affiliation won’t be mentioned. It’s a basic truth that to the media Democrats are family. This is just the equivalent of a relative who slipped up a bit, but would like everyone to move on asap to keep the peace for the holidays.

  6. Before entering politics she was in the business of ethics. Perhaps she could be persuaded to do a guest post here.
    “After graduating with an MBA from Vanderbilt University in 1993, Barry first began her work in ethics with Canadian company Nortel Networks. She served with the company until the late 1990s, working as a private ethics consultant until joining Charlotte, N.C.-based health care company Premier in 2003.”
    https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2015/08/30/megan-barry-ethics-background-helps-public-office/71348844/

  7. Other Bill

    Breaking news: The retired head of her security detail will be appearing on MSNBC tonight to join MeToo. Rose McGowan will be there on The Rachel Maddow Show to welcome him.

  8. “when Republicans are involved in scandals, the news media always places their party affiliation in the first paragraph,”

    A story as old as time itself, or what I like to call the “Name That Party” game Lefties LUV to play.

    Remember when those Bell, CA Lefties got caught with their ‘nads in a ringer?

    (bolds mine throughout)
    09/21/2010 : “Today, eight city council members were arrested in Bell, California for what Los Angeles County District Attorney labeled ‘corruption on steroids.’ Thus far, every major news outlet that has reported on the story has omitted the fact that all eight individuals arrested are Democrats.

    ”These glaring omissions come only weeks after NewsBusters reported that of the 351 stories on the then-brewing controversy, 350 had omitted party affiliations, and one had mentioned they were Democrats only in apologizing for not doing so sooner.

    ”ABC, CBS, the Los Angeles Times, the Associated Press, Bloomberg, USA Today, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and the San Francisco Chronicle all reported on the arrests today without mentioning party affiliations.

    ”One commenter at CNN’s online story got it spot on: ‘I notice there is no mention of the party affiliation of the accused. I can find no mention of it in any story on the internet. THIS MUST MEAN THEY WERE ALL DEMOCRATS.’ ” (caps mine)

    https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/lachlan-markay/2010/09/21/eight-dems-arrested-bell-ca-corruption-steroids-not-single

    Media bias? There ain’t no stinkin’ media bias!

  9. What is it with Democrat mayors named Barry? (remembering Marion)

    So…they can screw up all they want, then just say, “Oops,” and go on feeling entitled to being mayors-for-life (or at least, elite-politicians-for-life)?

    Wow. Given her prior ethics background, it sure seems like she gave herself an ethics-cleansing enema somewhere along the way. The new species in her gut seem exclusively partyist – and, given her party, include that all-too-common species, “drunkonpoweri progressivi.”

  10. Isaac

    ‘Member when Bill Clinton got caught sexually harassing subordinates one-too-many times and not only invoked God, but compared himself to King David?

    I ‘member.

  11. It’s not just party affiliation. In a different context, if you’re reading about a shooting and the ethnic affiliation is not mentioned, it’s a fair assumption that the shootees were white (or I suppose that both shooter and shootee were black).

  12. Neil Dorr

    This article provided excellent analysis and cogent points to consider. Thank you.

  13. Still Spartan

    Is the Nashville’s mayor’s affair worthy of national news? New York, Chicago, LA, certainly — but Nashville?

    As you know, I don’t agree with your definition of harassment and neither do the courts. His colleagues might have a hostile work environment or other type of claim though.

    • Sure. A man bites dog story. These kinds of stories with male officials are fairly common; with women as the principles, not so much. Right?

      • Still Spartan

        Meh. That just makes it gossip-worthy, not newsworthy.

        • You mean, newsworthy like why Melania wore a white dress, the entire “Fire and Fury” book, whether it was true that Trump referred to shitholes, Trump being demented and whether Trump had an affair with a porn star?

          • Still Spartan

            Well, I do think it’s relevant if our President has an affair or if he starts using racist verbiage in meetings — closed or not, given that he is the most powerful man in the world. Similarly, it was relevant if President Clinton had an affair. I thought that there was too much coverage of all of these things though, but I blame the 24 hour news cycle for that. The Lewinsky coverage was non-stop and this affected me personally. I was a young law student at the time and unfortunately resembled her quite a bit (ahem, I am obviously, OBVIOUSLY, prettier) and I was stopped on street frequently asking if I was her. Of all the times to dye my hair black. Ugh.

            • But there has never been a news story on the President using racist language. Saying a terrible country is a “shithole” wouldn’t be racist even it the President said it, as many, many have pointed out, and you should know better than to characterize that word as being “racist,” which is both race-baiting and anti-Trump propaganda. Second, someone alleged that Trump used that inflammatory word, but it has not been shown that he did. THAT’S gossip. But a verified affair between a public official and a subordinate, while we are being bombarded by allegations of male sexual misconduct in the workplace, isn’t news, but gossip? How can you possibly argue that?

    • Psst! if her affair creates a hostile work environment, then that is by definition sexual harassment, third party style. And all he’d have to to to make it direct is to say, “I felt I couldn’t turn down her advances.” Maybe decide that in a few years, when she is running for President…

  14. Still Spartan

    I just found a NPR link on this dated teleo days ago. CNN too. Let me know if you want to see them.

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