Former West Covina Mayor Found Dead in Ontario Hotel Room

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Michael Spence, the former mayor of West Covina who had a history of substance abuse, was found dead inside an Ontario hotel room, police said Friday.

Michael Spence is shown in an undated and now deleted photo on the City of West Covina's website.
Michael Spence is shown in an undated and now deleted photo on the City of West Covina’s website.

Spence, 52, was found unresponsive on Thursday evening at the Folk Inn, located at 204 N. Vineyard Ave., the Ontario Police Department said in a news release.

Hotel staff called police after finding Spence’s body inside the hotel room. Responding firefighters pronounced him dead at the scene.

“Detectives could see no visible signs of injury that might have caused his death,” Detective Fred Alvarez said in the news release.

Spence resigned as mayor of West Covina in May 2018, after Costa Mesa police began investigating him over possible drug use. The investigation was the result of an incident on May 4 when police responded to a medical call at a Costa Mesa hotel, and found two people, including Spence, with “controlled substance items.” At the time, police said Spence was unconscious when Costa Mesa officers arrived to the hotel.

In 2016 Spence was sentenced to three years of probation after he pled guilty to driving under the influence, following an incident where he crashed his car into a pole in Covina.

The cause of Spence’s death was pending an autopsy by the coroner.

Anyone with information about the incident was asked to call the Ontario Police Department at 909-986-6711, or Detective Jeff Wright at 909-408-1878.

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