NewsPublic Affairs / August 17, 2019

Recent Charges Are Not The First Against State Rep. Dan Forestal

Recent Charges Are Not The First Against State Rep. Dan ForestalForestal plead guilty in November 2007 to operating a vehicle while intoxicated.Dan Forestal, Indianapolis Fire Department, Marion County Prosecutor, Indiana House Democrats2019-08-17T00:00:00-04:00
Recent Charges Are Not The First Against State Rep. Dan Forestal

Democratic State Rep. Dan Forestal, who also works as an Indianapolis firefighter, was arrested by Indianapolis police on Aug. 10.

Indiana House Democratic Caucus

State Rep. Dan Forestal’s arrest last weekend was not his first on alcohol-related charges.

Information provided by the Indianapolis Fire Department shows Forestal plead guilty in November 2007 to operating a vehicle while intoxicated, less than a year after he was hired by the department.

“I wanted to inform you that I went to Court Nov. 8, 2007 - I was offered a plea agreement whereby I would plead guilty to Operating a Vehicle while Intoxicated (a misdemeanor) which would allow me to get my license back on or before Dec. 10, 2007,” Forestal wrote to then-IFD Chief Al Stovall.

Forestal informed his superiors that he accepted the plea agreement on the advice of his lawyer and that he would attend court-ordered alcohol abuse classes, saying it was the best way to bring the matter to its conclusion.

“I apologize for putting myself and the Fire Department in this situation,” Forestal wrote in the 2007 email. “Nothing like this will ever happen again.”

Forestal (D-Indianapolis) was arrested late Saturday, Aug. 10 and charged with drunk driving, resisting law enforcement, and impersonation of a public servant, the last being a felony.

The probable cause affidavit released by the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office earlier this week shows Forestal, 36, was reported for impersonating a police officer after he allegedly confronted a couple at their home, claimed he was preparing for a drug bust, and asked where the drug dealers live.

When located and approached by an IMPD officer later, Forestal refused to comply with orders to get out of his car and resisted arrest. He threatened to sue officers on the scene, then threatened to get them fired.

As a result of the most recent incident, IFD says, Forestal has been suspended without pay for 240 hours and remanded into an Employee Assistance Program.  Once the suspension is served, he will be placed on administrative assignment and will not respond on runs.

The Marion County Prosecutor's Office said Wednesday it will file for the appointment of a special prosecutor to take the case, because Forestal contributed to Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry’s campaign and worked as a campaign volunteer.

An initial hearing is scheduled for later this month. IFD says it is monitoring the case and that the next course of action will be determined by the final outcome of the case.

Forestal, a Democrat, represents parts of Indianapolis and was first elected to the House in 2012. He is the nephew of Marion County Sheriff Kerry Forestal.

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