Former West Covina Mayor Mike Spence was discovered lifeless in an Ontario motel room Thursday night, police stated. He was 52.

Ontario police responded to a name from workers of the Folks Inn, 204 N. Winery Ave., at 5:37 p.m. Thursday about an unconscious man in one of many rooms, Detective Fred Alvarez stated. The Ontario Fireplace Division arrived and pronounced the person lifeless on the scene.

Alvarez confirmed that the person was Spence, and that the reason for loss of life was pending an post-mortem however the preliminary investigation was for a potential drug overdose.

After receiving phrase from the Ontario Police Division late Thursday, West Covina Police Chief Marc Taylor notified Interim Metropolis Supervisor David Carmany of Spence’s loss of life. The Metropolis Council was then briefed.

Mayor Lloyd Johnson referred to as Spence “one of many smartest individuals I ever knew” and lamented that West Covina had misplaced its high monetary watchdog.

“He was very revered as an individual, politician, even adversary, and nobody can ever take that from him,” Johnson stated. “I want his household one of the best — they’re going via some main heartache, however they may get via it.”

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The specter of drug abuse had hung over Spence in recent times.

In July 2016, Spence, who had admitted to coping with substance-abuse points previously, was cited for driving inebriated or medicine when he crashed his automobile right into a utility pole. He later pleaded responsible to driving underneath the affect of methamphetamine.

Spence pleaded responsible on Dec. 7, 2016 and was sentenced to 3 years probation. Los Angeles County Superior Court docket Choose Stacy Wiese additionally ordered the councilman to pay a fantastic of $2,047, enroll in a county-approved alcohol program and attend 26 conferences of Alcoholics Nameless, Narcotics Nameless or Crystal Meth Nameless.

The cost additionally price Spence his job as chief of workers for San Bernardino County Supervisor Curt Hagman, who fired him just a few weeks earlier than Spence entered his responsible plea.

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Hagman stated on the time he had met Spence in 2007 when he was a state Assemblyman, and appointed Spence his chief of workers in 2009. He saved Spence as his chief of workers when he was elected county supervisor in 2014.

This previous Might, Costa Mesa police discovered Spence unconscious in a resort with “controlled-substance objects” on the scene, authorities stated. The lady who referred to as the police that night time stated she believed Spence “might have overdosed.”

Because of this, Spence was stripped of the title of mayor. He stayed on the panel and ran unsuccessfully in November to retain a seat on the Metropolis Council.

Spence denied having overdosed in Costa Mesa and stated in Might that he would probably by no means escape the stigma related to habit.

“Numerous individuals with habit face stigma and judgment from their friends and colleagues,” Spence stated. “Don’t purchase into the destructive stuff individuals wish to say. Assist is accessible if individuals want it. That’s crucial factor I need to say.”

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Mayor Professional Tem Tony Wu expressed large disappointment over the lack of Spence when reached by cellphone on Friday.

Wu supported Spence in 2016 when the Metropolis Council thought of eradicating him from the mayoral rotation on account of the crash. He stated he urged Spence to place his well being and household forward of his political profession.

“Mike Spence was an impressive politician who actually labored very exhausting on his insurance policies,” Wu stated. “But it surely’s very unhappy that he had these demons he couldn’t management.”

Brian Jobst, who from time to time publicly disagreed with Spence, additionally unhappy he was “extremely saddened” to listen to of his loss of life.

“I completely loved our debates, no matter once we agreed or disagreed on regardless of the topic was,” Jobst stated in an e-mail. “He was depraved good, politically savvy, and cared for West Covina deeply.”

Workers author Ruby Gonzales contributed to this report.

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