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.”
- This is classic appearance of impropriety. OK, Tennessee happens to be one of those states that don’t have laws and regulations against it, but that’s just The Compliance Dodge, Rationalization #5:
“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!