Jordan Brandman reportedly Dead from O.D. – WHY?

10am: The Orange County Register reports this morning that former Anaheim City Council member Jordan Brandman has died. He was reportedly found dead at his home and police do not suspect foul play. A cause of death has not yet been reported. We’ll have more details as they emerge.

We are saddened and shocked. The troubled young man did need some kind of help. We don’t know how it happened or exactly when either, but I think I should point out – (could be a total coincidence, I’d been on the verge of writing about this until I heard the news) – it was exactly ten years ago at 8 this morning that a Council meeting took place, on a Monday morning, an “EMERGENCY” meeting that Jordan had called himself, with the sole purpose of stripping Mayor Tait’s agendizing abilities to prevent him from speaking out so much against the 2013 proposed Stadium property lease. I guess I won’t be writing about that now or any time soon, but here is the video of that meeting.

No, I am not talking shit about the recently deceased, I am just reporting facts. Maybe some of you think what he did ten years ago was a GOOD thing, heroic even, shutting up Mayor Tait about the 2013 stadium giveaway. He certainly had the support of Kris Murray, Lucille Kring, Gail Eastman, Arte Moreno, the Chamber, and the rest of the establishment. And maybe the timing is pure coincidence.


11 am: Dan Chmielewski at The Liberal OC, an old friend of Jordan’s and his most loyal apologist till recently, has just written:

Former Anaheim city council member Jordan’s Brandman has died.  Anaheim Police discovered his body after a family member requested a welfare check because Brandman would not answer his phone. Multiple sources tell TheLiberalOC Brandman died of an apparent overdose.

‘“It’s going to come out anyway, Dan, you might as well report it,” said a Brandman friend I spoke to. ‘“He trusted you enough to come out to you, you might as well report it.”

News of Brandman’s passing spread quickly among his friends this morning.  There is sadness, anger, and regret. And for some, including me, it’s not a surprise. And there’s significant anger directed at Los Angeles Times reporters Gabriel San Roman and Adam Elmahrek for their expose on Brandman last summer which Brandman’s friends believe pushed the former councilman over the edge.

I don’t believe Dan that anybody is mad at Gabriel and Adam, why should they be? They told the story that Jordan WANTED told. It was actually a pair of stories, and if you want to read them, I’m providing links through which you can bypass the Times’ paywall: 

It was Dan Chmielewski who characterized that pair of stories as “Jordan’s Revenge Story,” and in a follow-up post wrote this ominous epigram in bold: “If You Seek Revenge, You Should Dig Two Graves; one for Yourself.” Dan’s “Two Graves” post is a pretty morbid and threatening piece including the passages:

“It would not have surprised me to wake up one morning then to learn he had taken his own life.  And to be honest, I would not surprise me if it still happens…”

“…In reading the story, I’m not convinced Brandman is in a good place mentally.  The story, which I’m sure Brandman hoped would hurt those who tried to help him, actually makes him the bad guy….”

“…Where the story doesn’t go are how Brandman’s behavior has cost him lifelong friends.  If he’s truly seeking atonement, he has many calls to make. And I’ll guess he never will because those bridges are already burned…”

“… [Jordan texted me] ‘I’m alive and grateful to be. Thanks for saying you’re sorry by the way.’  I didn’t apologize but sent back a thumbs up to acknowledge the first part of his text.  I’m not sure what he expected me to apologize for. This [Times] story, I believe, effectively ends Brandman’s possibility of holding public office again.  When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging, especially if it’s the second of two graves you’re digging for revenge.  If his job with BIA is based on political relationships. good luck with that.”

Jordan’s most loyal apologist for over a decade here wrote a piece mainly intended to clean everything up for MELAHAT, and throw JORDAN “under the bus” Greg’s gonna write some more about this. I have nothing more to say for now.

Except, if people really live on, then let’s hope Jordan Brandman finds some peace.  And if people are reincarnated, the let’s hope Jordan Brandman comes back less damaged.  And makes better friends than Pringle, Nocella, and Chmielewski.  


About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official political troubadour of Anaheim and most other OC towns. Regularly makes solo performances, sometimes with his savage-jazz band The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at, or 714-235-VERN.