Former Anaheim City Councilman Jordan Brandman found dead at his home

ANHEIM, CA - JUNE 12, 2023: Ex-city councilman Jordan Brandman is providing inside information on how a self-described "cabal" of lobbyists and consultants pulled the strings in Anaheim on June 12, 2023 in Anaheim, California. He was once under the sway of the council faction and has since turned on the group, who are now the subject of an FBI investigation. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
Former Anaheim City Councilman Jordan Brandman standing outside City Hall. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Former Anaheim City Councilman Jordan Brandman, who became the city's first out gay council member after he was first elected in 2012, was found dead at his home Friday night, officials said.

Police responded to Brandman's home about 7:45 p.m. after receiving a request for a welfare check, according to a statement from the city. Officers found the 43-year-old Brandman unresponsive.

There were no signs of foul play, but the cause of death remains under investigation, officials said.

"It is with sorrow and sadness that we learned of the passing of former Council Member Brandman," Anaheim Mayor Ashleigh Aitken said in a news release. "Any loss of life in our city is a tragedy, and my heart goes out to all who knew Jordan and who are now coping with the news of his passing."

After serving his first term, Brandman lost his bid for reelection in 2016 by 72 votes. He got a new job working for a consulting firm co-owned by a prominent lobbyist who did work in Anaheim.

In 2018, Brandman was reelected to the City Council. But he resigned in 2021 after texts he sent using crude and sexist language to disparage another council member became public.

Brandman struggled with mental health issues during his second term in office and at one point took time off from work.

Police conducted welfare checks at his apartment on two separate occasions during this time.

Buena Park Councilman Connor Traut said Saturday that he considered Brandman a close friend.

"Even during those times when it seemed his whole world was falling apart around him, he had a very caring heart," Traut said. "Jordan meant the world to a lot of people. I wouldn't be where I am without him."

Traut mentioned that Brandman seemed optimistic for the future, especially as his friend just recently moved to a new home. Traut had planned a surprise housewarming visit to Brandman when he learned of his passing.

Brandman's death comes amid a sprawling FBI investigation into political corruption in Anaheim that became public in 2022.

Since that time, three people have pleaded guilty to corruption-related criminal charges, including Harry Sidhu, the city's former mayor.

Before his death, Brandman gave a tell-all story to The Times about the extensive influence of lobbyists on city politics based on his experiences in office.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.