Spence Out As Hagman’s Chief Of Staff

San Bernardino County Supervisor Curt Hagman has parted ways with his chief of staff, who for more than seven years was an intrinsic element of his successful political machine.
Mike Spence’s bona fides as a rock-ribbed Republican adhering to conservative values landed him a long-running job as the chief of staff for then-assemblyman Joel Anderson (R- El Cajon), a five-year stint as Hagman’s chief of staff when he was a California Assemblyman, selection as Hagman’s chief of staff as county supervisor following his exodus from the Assembly and election as San Bernardino County Fourth District Supervisor in 2014, and a political career of his own as a West Covina city councilman and mayor. But Spence’s fortunes have dipped since his DUI-related crash in Covina on June 12.
In that crash, Spence slammed into a utility pole near the intersection of Azusa Avenue and Cypress Street, breaking his hip, femur, back and ribs. A toxicology report states that a blood sample taken from him after he was hospitalized showed the presence of an as-yet unidentified controlled substance, characterized as a stimulant, in his system.
Spence had been through thick and thin with Hagman for more than a half decade, and was the architect of his strategy in the 2014 election when Hagman, a Republican and former Chino Hills mayor, edged Gloria Negrete-McLeod, then a sitting Democratic congresswoman in the Fourth District, in which Democrats have a registration advantage over Republicans.
Spence, like Hagman, built his reputation and public persona on conservative values and decrying the liberalism and permissiveness of the Democrats. But since his accident, Spence, 50, has acknowledged he has had a problem with both alcohol and drugs. He did not admit to being under the influence on June 12, however, saying he had blacked out entirely and does not remember what led to the accident.
He has been charged by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office with driving under the influence of drugs. Spence underwent an extended hospitalization, at the beginning of which Hagman said he would not take any action regarding Spence’s employment status with his office until Spence had made a recovery from the injuries he sustained in the accident.
On November 23, Hagman announced he would not renew Spence’s employment contract.

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