State rep from Indianapolis resigns from office following arrest

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A state representative who has been arrested twice in the past year has resigned from his position.

State Rep. Dan Forestal, D-Indianapolis, resigned Monday from his position as state representative for House District 100 following his arrest late last week. His resignation is effective immediately.

City-County Council member Blake Johnson announced Monday he would file to be considered for caucus election to serve the remainder of Forestal’s term.

Forestal, 37, was jailed Friday on preliminary charges including battery of a public safety official and resisting law enforcement.

The arrest came after he was taken to Eskenazi Hospital on Thursday after officers were called to his home to check on his welfare. While he was being checked in, he allegedly argued with a nurse and kicked one deputy in the knee and kneed another deputy in the ribs after they arrived to assist.

“The past eight years of service to the State of Indiana and the people of House District 100 have been the greatest honor of my lifetime,” Forestal said in a written statement. “The time is long overdue for me to focus on my mental health and get myself well. I want to thank my family and friends for their love and support during this difficult time. We need to work together to shatter the stigma around mental health issues in the State of Indiana and address them with the same treatment and philosophy as physical health issues. 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.”

Forestal’s most recent arrest followed one last summer.

In August 2019, he was charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest and operating a vehicle while intoxicated. He is scheduled to appear in Marion Superior Court later this month for a change of plea hearing on those charges, which are unrelated to last week’s arrest.

Forestal was first elected to the Indiana House of Representatives in 2012 and reelected in 2016. He represents downtown Indianapolis, Fountain Square and the east side. He did not seek re-election in this month’s primary. His term expires at the end of the year.

“It’s my hope that Rep. Forestal is safe and healthy,” Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody said in written remarks. “The caucus to fill House District 100 will take place within 30 days of the vacancy occurring, in accordance with state law.”

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