Puckett takes plea deal in 2017 hit-and-run case (March 18, 2019)
RANCHO CUCAMONGA — Marc Puckett, Apple Valley’s former assistant town manager who was accused of felony hit and run stemming from a July 2017 crash on Interstate 15, has entered into a plea deal that reduced the charge against him.
Puckett, who denied hitting another vehicle when questioned by the Daily Press a week after the incident, pleaded no contest on March 6 to misdemeanor hit and run, according to court records. He was sentenced to three years probation and 30 days in county jail.
Court records show Puckett is eligible for a weekend/work release program and a conduct credit that could cut his jail time in half. He must report to the Glen Helen Rehabilitation Center by 2 p.m. Thursday.
Daniel Greenberg, Puckett’s attorney, told the Daily Press the probation is “informal,” meaning Puckett will not have a probation officer.
Lola Espinoza, who was injured during the late-night crash, said she received a $25,000 check during the March 6 hearing. Greenberg confirmed the amount, saying it was restitution paid for damages and lost wages.
Espinoza, who lives in Rancho Cucamonga, was traveling southbound on I-15 at about 11:30 p.m. when her Toyota Prius was rear-ended by Puckett’s Cadillac CTS south of Foothill Boulevard, according to a California Highway Patrol report.
Puckett’s Cadillac careened off the freeway after impact and went down an embankment before stopping in a flood control channel. He later confirmed he was in an accident, saying he left his car to find someone with a cellphone because his was dead.
Puckett denied hitting another vehicle during that conversation, calling it an “absolute crap story.”
He also wondered whether someone with Liberty Utilities followed him the night of the crash.
Espinoza previously said her back and neck were injured as a result of the crash. She gave a victim impact statement during the March 6 hearing, telling Judge Stephan Saleson, and Puckett, that the injuries have made it difficult to do her job at American Medical Response, where she works as a first responder.
“Doing CPR and ventilations on a patient, anything like that, is hard on my body,” Espinoza said. “It’s sad because now I’m thinking, like, ‘Do I have to get another career?’”
Espinoza said she addressed Saleson and Puckett while she spoke inside a Rancho Cucamonga Superior Court room. Puckett, she said, kept his head down while she made her comments.
At the time of the crash, Espinoza said she was finishing her clinicals en route to her paramedic’s license. Without a car, she said she missed time at work, stressed over whether she would obtain the license and fell into a depression that required counseling.
She said she’s still frustrated that, immediately following the crash, she feared for the safety of the other driver.
“I was worried about him the whole time, not knowing that he left the scene,” she said. “Like, who does that? I just thank God my son was not there because he probably wouldn’t be with me.”
Espinoza said the $25,000 check she received offered some relief because she owed her grandmother money for a down payment on a new car purchased in October 2017.
Saleson offered an apology after she finished her statement, according to Espinoza. She said she didn’t feel closure because she wasn’t sure if Puckett was remorseful.
“Like, for me, maybe he regretted it because of the mess he caused for him, but he didn’t even say sorry to me,” she said. I’m just happy to be done. It’s life. You just go forward.”
Puckett was charged with felony hit and run in early December 2017. He went on paid personal leave from his Town Hall job on Dec. 7 of that year and pleaded not guilty on Dec. 14, according to previous Daily Press reports.
In early January 2018, Town Manager Doug Robertson eliminated Puckett’s assistant town manager position, citing financial reasons.
Puckett is scheduled to complete his incarceration by Oct. 21. He paid a total of $4,339 to the court and will complete probation in March 2022, according to court records.
Source: Matthew Cabe, Daily Press
Files dealing with Marc Puckett
- 19920114 Minutes of a special meeting of the city council for the City of East Detroit, Macomb County, Michigan
- 19920225 Minutes of a special meeting of the city council for the City of East Detroit, Macomb County, Michigan
- 19920303 Minutes of a special meeting of the city council for the City of East Detroit, Macomb County, Michigan
- 19920305 Minutes of a special meeting of the city council for the City of East Detroit, Macomb County, Michigan
- 19920319 Minutes of a special meeting of the city council for the City of East Detroit, Macomb County, Michigan
- 19920623 Minutes of a special meeting of the city council for the City of East Detroit, Macomb County, Michigan
- 19960111 Retirement firm accuses official of favoritism
- 19960403 Folks soaked by water bills may get relief
- 19960920 Marc Puckett’s red light ticket
- 19990130 $9-million pension fund transfer raises questions
- 19990202 Retirement panel urges ‘immediate’ audit of plan
- 19990203 Retirement board splits over need for independent manager
- 19990203 Finance director resigns under fire of pension flap
- 19990210 Former finance director lashes back at critics, hints suit
- 19990224 Flint to boost pension fund
- 19990319 Flint sent tax funds to wrong units
- 19990326 Ex-finance director cashes in on $6,000 in unused vacation time
- 19990330 Flint could owe state millions some industrial facilities taxes have not been paid since 1996
- 19990408 Stanley acts on money woes, appoints new finance chief
- 19990411 Stanley must share blame as part of his plan to fix city’s financial woes
- 19990909 Audit details shortfalls in financial procedures
- 20100219 Personal injury complaint against Marc Puckett
- 20100408 Answer of defendant, Marc R. Puckett, to plaintiffs’ complaint
- 20101227 New finance director to step down
- 20101228 Marc Puckett out — Again
- 20101230 Leadership turmoil
- 20110104 The world according to John Moorlach
- 20110110 City faces $231,000 deficit
- 20110113 Interim finance director named
- 20110210 Marc Puckett’s speeding ticket
- 201102405 Marc Puckett’s ticket for stopping on a red signal
- 20110817 Marc Puckett’s ticket for no license plate
- 20120309 Marc Puckett’s Orange County accident case information
- 20120425 Marc Puckett’s speeding ticket
- 20120703 Marc Puckett’s speeding ticket
- 20140724 Marc Puckett’s speeding ticket
- 20141124 Marc Puckett’s ticket for coasting out of gear
- 20141205 Marc Puckett’s ticket for speeding
- 20150529 Marc Puckett’s ticket for improper use of preferred lane
- Comments for tonight’s council meeting
- The innumerate Mr. Puckett
- Shill crazy after all these years
- Earth to Puckett!
- About those awards
- One PRR story: American Express (CC)
- 20160913 Documents link top Apple Valley official to #FlintWaterCrisis
- 20160913 Investigation: Flint / Apple Valley Connection
- 20160915 Economic Speech (Trump)
- 20161018 Will Apple Valley become California’s Flint, MI?
- 20170319 Trump EPA grants Michigan $100 million to fix Flint water system
- 20170320 Sinkhole: Effort to replace pipes to Flint homes off to slow start
- 20170806 Vehicle belonging to AV town manager involved in hit-and-run
- He’s gonna need a good lawyer
- 20170809 Apple Valley official believes Liberty could have followed him before crash
- Public trust destroyed (Carloni)
- 20170907 Hit-and-run investigation involving Marc Puckett’s Cadillac sent to DA
- 20171010 Marc Puckett’s speeding ticket
- A question of character
- 20171206 Apple Valley Finance Director Marc Puckett charged with felony hit-and-run
- 20171206 A long wait for crash victim
- 20171117 A history of infractions
- 20171207 Apple Valley Finance Director Marc Puckett on personal leave after felony hit-and-run charge filed
- 20171214 Apple Valley Finance Director Marc Puckett pleads not guilty to felony hit-and-run charge
- 20171214 I-15 crash victim seeks $2M in damages from Apple Valley
- 20171219 Editorial: Passing the Puck (Valles)
- 20171228 Town Hall position not a factor in Puckett’s custody status, attorney says
- 20180105 Puckett forced out as Apple Valley’s Assistant Manager & Finance Director
- 20180109 Tin Cup Men (Valles)
- 20180116 Puckett’s dismissal just what the town needed (Valles)
- 20180307 Puckett deposition set for mid-April in town’s eminent domain case
- 20180425 Pre-plea report ordered in Puckett’s felony case