Puckett forced out as Apple Valley’s Assistant Manager & Finance Director (January 5, 2018)
Marc Puckett, the Town of Apple Valley’s finance director who since 2011 has been serving as the town’s de facto assistant municipal manager, has been terminated.
Puckett had been on voluntary paid administrative leave since December 7, following a criminal filing against him on December 5 on a charge of felony hit and run driving arising out of a July 20, 2017 collision on Interstate 15 in Rancho Cucamonga.
Although it is widely recognized that the criminal charges leveled against Puckett precipitated his demise, the town is maintaining that the position he held is being eliminated “for financial reasons” effective as of this morning. No salary for the dual position Puckett held is being included in the budget for fiscal year 2018-2019, which begins on July 1.
The town sugarcoated the firing, nonetheless, conferring upon Puckett a severance package equal to six months pay and benefits, which totals $109,252 in monetary terms.
One of the reasons for not tying Puckett’s forced exit to the pending criminal case against him is to prevent him from taking legal action against the city in a wrongful termination suit, as Puckett has yet to go to trial on the charge, and he has entered a not guilty plea in the matter. Puckett has maintained that he left the scene of the accident because he was seeking a means to contact the Highway Patrol. He claims he did not have access to a cell phone after the accident.
The town has been brought into the matter in a way it had not anticipated. The motorist whose car was hit by Puckett’s vehicle, Lola Espinoza, suffered injuries in the accident, and she filed a claim against not only Puckett and his insurance company but the town as well. On December 12, a week after the criminal charges were filed against Puckett, the town council denied Espinoza’s claim. It is yet anticipated that the town will be named in a lawsuit to be filed by Espinoza’s lawyer on her behalf.
According to the town, Puckett’s departure and the severance package were mutually arrived at three days after Christmas. Puckett has reportedly signed an agreement with the town to hold it harmless for any issues relating to his leaving.
Puckett’s departure was the first major action following Doug Robertson moving into the position of town manager January 1. Robertson, who since 2011 was the city manager in Victorville, accepted the position of town manager with Apple Valley in November following a four-month long recruitment drive to replace former Apple Valley Town Manager Frank Robinson that was carried out by the headhunting firm of Ralph Andersen & Associates.
Puckett was previously considered indispensable to Apple Valley’s operations, given his command of the town’s financial affairs. In the last two years, he served as the point man on the town’s efforts to engage in what is essentially a hostile takeover of Liberty Utilities, which is the town’s water purveyor. That effort is seen as a yet-to-be-accomplished administrative tour-de-force, with legal and financial components. The town is pursuing the takeover through the court, and has not ruled out the use of the eminent domain process. Simultaneously, the town is looking to raise the necessary capital to effectuate a buyout of Liberty’s Apple Valley assets, which the town once hopefully sought to accomplish by putting up a mere $54 million. It is now apparent that the takeover will under the most realistic of scenarios cost at least $109 million and could escalate to as much as $150 million.
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