Updated: Berkeley City Clerk Dies Over Weekend in Unexplained Circumstances

By Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN) and Planet
Monday January 09, 2012 - 01:54:00 PM

Berkeley City Clerk Deanna Despain died over the weekend, city spokeswoman Mary Kay Clunies-Ross confirmed today. 

Despain was reportedly found dead at her home in Oakland on Saturday night after falling downstairs.  

According to City Hall sources who asked not to be quoted, the fall is believed to have been accidental.  

Clunies-Ross said Despain's death was "very unexpected" but she didn't immediately have more details. 

Despain, 37, became Berkeley's acting city clerk in June 2008, succeeding Pamyla Means, and was officially appointed as city clerk on May 17, 2009. 

Before becoming acting city clerk, Despain had served the city starting in September 2004 as the records manager, assistant city clerk and deputy city clerk. 

Despain attended the University of Utah and Salt Lake Community College, according to the City Council's resolution that was passed when she was appointed. 

The Alameda County Coroner's Office said that there was a press hold on information at this time, and the Oakland police spokesperson did not return calls.