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Former Indiana lawmaker, firefighter Dan Forestal dies at 38

Dan Forestal, a former Indianapolis firefighter and east-facet point out lawmaker, died this week. He was 38. 

The Marion County Coroner’s Business office stated Forestal’s way of demise is unknown at this time. The office is awaiting toxicology outcomes.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police officers opened a death investigation Wednesday, following officers responded to a welfare check and found Forestal deceased at the Top quality Inn Northwest on Wesleyan Road. 

Initial elected to the Statehouse in 2012, Forestal became a member of the Residence Democratic leadership team and served as the ranking minority member on Streets and Transportation. His district stretched from downtown and Fountain Square east by way of Irvington and I-465. 

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He resigned in June 2020 soon after he was arrested on preliminary expenses of battery of a community security formal, resisting legislation enforcement and disorderly perform. 

Forestal also confronted sets of charges in two other legal instances filed in 2019 and 2020 a single situation stemming from prices of drunken driving and impersonating a police officer, the other more than accusations of using his political campaign’s financial institution account to fund personal costs, this kind of as on the internet gambling. 

Dwelling Minority Leader Phil GiaQuinta praised Forestal in a assertion Thursday, recognizing his function on transportation problems and his laws addressing urban blight in Indianapolis neighborhoods. 

“He was a excellent legislator and committed public servant who accomplished good issues for his local community in the course of his time at the Statehouse,” GiaQuinta mentioned. “He will be remembered for his devotion to making Indiana a far better area to function and increase a family members.” 

Republicans these types of as Gov. Eric Holcomb praised Forestal for his company far too.

“Former Point out Representative Dan Forestal proudly served his constituents as a legislator and as an Indianapolis firefighter,” Holcomb stated. “He led with conviction and intention and was passionate on his mission to provide Hoosiers.”

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett identified as Forestal “a robust advocate for the Indianapolis local community”

At the time of his 2020 arrest, Forestal wasopen with the community about what he described as “struggles with mental wellness.” 

“The time is lengthy overdue for me to focus on my mental health and get myself properly,” Forestal mentioned in a statement asserting his resignation in June of 2020. “Hoosiers should really not have to dwell in worry of acquiring their struggles with psychological overall health be uncovered and have attached to them the adverse stigma that will come with struggling from psychological wellbeing troubles.”

Right after achieving a plea arrangement with prosecutors in just one legal circumstance, a choose requested Forestal to obtain treatment whilst on probation. Court documents demonstrate Forestal sought treatment method several periods although grappling with his prison scenarios more than the final two several years. 

Forestal’s legal professional James Voyles did not instantly reply to request for remark. 

Forestal is the nephew of Marion County Sheriff Kerry Forestal and is associated by relationship to Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears. 

He was a graduate of Roncalli Substantial School and lived in Residence District 100 nearly his whole lifestyle. He been given his associate’s diploma in fireplace science from Ivy Tech Local community Higher education, a degree in community security administration from IUPUI and a diploma in general public administration from Indiana University’s Faculty of General public and Environmental Affairs.

In addition to functioning a tiny enterprise that flipped abandoned houses in Indianapolis, he served as a lieutenant with the Indianapolis Hearth Division, a bailiff in Marion County Top-quality Court docket 11 and a guard at Marion County Jail II.

Get in touch with IndyStar reporter Kaitlin Lange at 317-432-9270. Adhere to her on Twitter: @kaitlin_lange.

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