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|April 21, 2019|
Former mayor found dead in Ontario motel room
ONTARIO – (INT) – An autopsy is planned on the body of former West Covina mayor Michael Herman Spence who was found dead Thursday in an Ontario motel room.
In May 2016, police in Costa Mesa investigated a medical aid call involving Spence in which ‘controlled substance items’ were found at a motel. At the time, he declined to discuss the incident but offered a brief statement saying, “I don’t want the negative reaction to my addiction to prevent people from calling 911 or seeking treatment.”
In 2016, Spence was driving under the influence of a drug when he struck a pole with his vehicle near Azusa Avenue and Cypress Street in Covina. Spence pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor DUI charge stemming from a crash in June that year that put him in a hospital with serious injuries. Authorities said he had methamphetamine in his system when his rental car slammed into a utility pole.
Spence was sentenced in December 2016 to three years’ probation and was ordered to complete a three-month alcohol and drug education program, according to Los Angeles County Superior Court records.
Since the 2016 incident, Spence had spoken openly about his issues with alcohol and drugs, according to published reports.
Spence, 52, was elected to the West Covina City Council in 2013 and was later appointed mayor — a largely ceremonial role.
Story Date: April 17, 2019