ONTARIO (CBSLA) – Mike Spence, the former mayor of West Covina, was found dead in an Ontario motel room Thursday night at the age of 52.

Ontario police report that Spence was discovered unconscious at around 5:30 p.m. by motel staff in a room in the Folk Inn, located at 204 N. Vineyard Ave. Ontario firefighters responded and declared Spence dead at the scene. Police confirmed to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune that the victim was indeed the former West Covina mayor.

FILE — West Covina Mayor Mike Spence addresses the West Covina City Council on the day he resigned as mayor. May 17, 2018. (CBS2)

In a news release, police said that detectives could find no visible sign of injury. However, Ontario police Det. Fred Alvarez told the Tribune that a preliminary investigation indicates he may have suffered a drug overdose. An autopsy is pending to determine the exact cause of death.

Spence had battled drug issues in the past. On May 4 of last year, while still mayor, Spence was found unconscious with drugs in a motel room in Costa Mesa.

Amid the ensuing police investigation, Spence resigned his post as mayor less than two weeks later.

“I want to apologize for the distraction that my personal feelings have had on the city,” Spence told the council on the day he resigned.

In June 2016, Pence crashed into a power pole in Covina. He later plead guilty to driving under the influence of methamphetamine and was sentenced to three years’ probation, the Tribune reports.

Spence was first elected to the West Covina City Council in 2013.


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