July 15, 2021

Dan Forestal, Former Indiana Lawmaker, Dead At 38

Former state Rep. Dan Forestal of Indianapolis has died. He was 38. - FILE: Indiana House Democratic Caucus

Former state Rep. Dan Forestal of Indianapolis has died. He was 38.

FILE: Indiana House Democratic Caucus

INDIANAPOLIS — Former state Rep. Dan Forestal of Indianapolis has died. He was 38.

Forestal’s manner of death wasn't clear pending the return of toxicology results, the Marion County Coroner’s Office said.

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department opened a death investigation Wednesday after officers conducting a welfare check found Forestal dead at a hotel, The Indianapolis Star reported.

Forestal, a former firefighter, was elected to the Statehouse in 2012 as a Democrat representative. He resigned in June 2020 shortly after he was arrested on preliminary charges of battery of a public safety official, resisting law enforcement and disorderly conduct.

Forestal had openly described his “struggles with mental health.”

“The time is long overdue for me to focus on my mental health and get myself well,” Forestal said in a statement announcing his resignation in June of 2020. “Hoosiers should not have to live in fear of having their struggles with mental health be exposed and have attached to them the negative stigma that comes with suffering from mental health issues.”

Lawmakers and others paid tribute to Forestal Thursday.

Gov. Eric Holcomb said Forestal proudly served his constituents as a legislator and as an Indianapolis firefighter.

"He led with conviction and intention and was passionate on his mission to serve Hoosiers," Holcomb said in a statement.

Indiana House Democratic Leader Phil GiaQuinta (D-Fort Wayne) described Forestal as a "great legislator and dedicated public servant."

"From his legislation addressing urban blight in Indiana neighborhoods to serving as the leading voice for House Democrats on transportation issues, Forestal worked hard for Hoosiers across the state," GiaQuinta said in a statement. "He will be remembered for his dedication to making Indiana a better place to work and raise a family."

Forestal is the nephew of Marion County Sheriff Kerry Forestal.

WFYI News contributed to this article.

Support independent journalism today. You rely on WFYI to stay informed, and we depend on you to make our work possible. Donate to power our nonprofit reporting today. Give now.

 

 

Related News

Indiana Oath Keeper member indicted on Capitol riot charges
Racism is a public health crisis declares Tippecanoe County
Indiana gas tax increases while state eyes inflation relief