APPLE VALLEY — The town’s finance director has gone on paid personal leave following the filing of a felony hit-and-run charge against him Wednesday.
Town spokesperson Gina Whiteside told the Daily Press that Assistant Town Manager Marc Puckett “requested personal leave” Thursday and confirmed the leave is paid because it’s Puckett’s “own leave,” meaning it’s his personal time.
Whiteside said she was informed of Puckett’s decision early Thursday. She could not comment on the length of time off Puckett requested or whether he used vacation or administrative-leave hours in his request.
“That’s all the information I have at this time,” she said.
Apple Valley’s executive-level employees receive 80 hours per year in administrative leave. Those hours can be used throughout the year or cashed out. Vacation and sick hours, on the other hand, are accrued and roll over.
The move comes one day after the San Bernardino County District Attorney filed a felony hit-and-run charge against Puckett in connection to a July 20 crash on Interstate 15 that he previously told this newspaper was a single-car accident.
Driving his 2011 black Cadillac CTS at approximately 11:30 p.m., Puckett allegedly rear-ended a 2011 gray Toyota Prius belonging to Lola Espinoza of Rancho Cucamonga. The July 20 crash occurred just south of Foothill Boulevard and sent Puckett’s Cadillac down an embankment.
He has not responded to multiple requests for comment since August but, on July 27, he denied hitting another vehicle, suggested he had been followed by someone associated with Liberty Utilities before the crash and said he left his car to find someone with a cell phone because his was dead.
Espinoza was taken to an area hospital where she was treated for injuries to her neck and back.
Puckett remains out of custody, according to jail records. An arraignment date has not been set as of Thursday evening, court records show.
Source: Matthew Cabe, Daily Press