SBCO

By Stephanie K. Baer, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 10/20/16 – 9:35 AM PDT |

WEST COVINA >> Councilman Mike Spence pleaded not guilty to driving under the influence of a drug Thursday morning.

Spence, 50, faces one count of a misdemeanor DUI in connection with a solo car crash in June that landed him in the hospital with serious injuries. His attorney Doug Boyd appeared at the West Covina Courthouse on behalf of the councilman for his arraignment. Boyd told a judge they haven’t seen the toxicology reports yet.

Spence, who is chief of staff for San Bernardino County Supervisor Curt Hagman, was driving in the area of Azusa Avenue and Cypress Street in Covina on June 12 when he crashed his rental car into a utility pole, authorities have said.

The councilman was “displaying objective symptoms” of someone under the influence of drugs or alcohol, according to authorities. The toxicology and incident reports have not been released for public view.

Spence has admitted to having troubles with alcoholism and using both cocaine and methamphetamine in the past. In 1998, he pleaded guilty in West Valley Superior Court in Rancho Cucamonga to one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence of alcohol.

When reached by phone, Spence said he entered the not guilty plea in his new case for two reasons.

“I don’t remember what happened that day and I have not been allowed to see the paperwork,” he said.

At the time, Spence said he was upset about losing the primary for the 55th District State Assembly seat held days before his accident.

“I was angry,” he said. “I wasn’t handling the loss well.”

Later on Thursday, Spence said his attorney received some documents from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office after the hearing but that he has not yet reviewed them.

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