West Covina’s Mayor Stripped of Title After Possible Drug Overdose

Mike Spence is out as mayor of West Covina amid reports of drug use and a possible heroin overdose he may have suffered at a Costa Mesa hotel this month. Spence offered his resignation Thursday, effective June 1. But that wasn’t soon enough for the council which voted to strip him of his largely ceremonial title immediately.

Spence has maintained his council seat, but a new mayor will be chosen on June 5.

Authorities say they were responding to a 911 call shortly after midnight on May 4 when they found Spence in a hotel room surrounded by drugs and paraphernalia. They have since released audio of the 911 call, available here, in which a woman says Spence is “unconscious” and that “he may have overdosed" on heroin. 

Spence apologized Thursday for the “distraction” and criticized people who show insensitivity to those struggling with addiction. He has previously denied knowing the 911 caller, who described herself as a friend, and said he was not under the influence of drugs.

This is not the first time Spence has faced allegations of drug use. The councilman was ordered to serve three months' probation in 2016 for driving under the influence of methamphetamine.