Ex-Adviser to Former Gov. Brown Found Dead in Creek

MERCED, Calif. -- A former adviser to former Gov. Jerry Brown who became an activist on transportation issues has died in what California authorities believe was a suicide.

Mariposa Sheriff Brian Muller says Ken Gosting's cause of death was drowning, and that suicide will be listed on the death certificate.

Sheriff's deputies found the body of the 62-year-old in Mariposa Creek on Saturday. Friends say Gosting suffered a back injury during the 1994 Northridge earthquake and had been in pain ever since.

Gosting worked as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times and other newspapers. Before that, he served as a transportation and emergency services adviser to Brown during his first gubernatorial term in the mid-1970s.

Gosting later successfully argued for seat belts on Yosemite-area buses, and his lobbying helped win a seat for the county on the Central Valley Rail Authority.