RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. – A former Town of Apple Valley Finance Director was sentenced to 30 days in county jail to be served on weekends for a hit and run traffic collision causing serious injury. According to Anna Parker, administrator of Facebook group, Victor Valley Court Updates, Mark Robert Puckett of Aliso Viejo will only be required to serve 50% of the 30-day sentence.
The sentence was a result of a plea deal on March 6, 2019, when Puckett pleaded no contest to one misdemeanor charge of hit and run resulting in death or injury. Pursuant to the plea deal, this was downgraded from a felony to a misdemeanor. In addition, Puckett will be on 3 years of summary probation.
On July 20, 2017, at around 11:30 p.m. Puckett was driving a black Cadillac CTS on the 15 freeway southbound just south of Foothill Boulevard when he struck the back of a 2011 Toyota Prius. Puckett’s vehicle went off of the freeway down an embankment. The vehicle rested in a flood control channel. Puckett, according to a Daily Press news report claimed that he left the vehicle to seek help. He then made phone contact with his son, who picked him up. He did not return for his vehicle until July 21, 2017, to find it was towed.
Espinoza’s Prius was totaled as a result of the collision and she was transported to the hospital for pain in her side, wrist, neck, and back CHP officials said.
Felony Hit and run resulting in death or injury charges were filed over 4 months later, on December 5, 2017. Puckett left on paid administrative leave a few days after charges were filed. In January 2017, Puckett was released of his duties by the Town of Apple Valley who said the separation was for “financial reasons”. Nonetheless, Puckett received a severance package of $109,252 for his departure. It is unknown Puckett’s exact pay at the time, but according to Transparent California, in 2015 he was paid $214,537 plus “other pay” of $25,488. In addition, his benefits equaled to an additional $74,084.00 for his position of Assistant Town Manager, which he did in addition to his job of Finance Director.
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- PUCKETT: Submitted