Mark Puente, an award-winning investigative journalist, is a local accountability reporter. He will knock on any door to chase facts and stories. He exposed widespread abuses at Pinellas and Hillsborough agencies in 2017 and 2018. This is his third stint at the Times. He left in 2019 to cover the LAPD for the Los Angeles Times and led coverage of the Conception boat fire that killed 34 divers. He previously worked at the (Cleveland) Plain Dealer and The Baltimore Sun. Prior to becoming a journalist, he spent 15 years driving a tractor trailer. His real passion is tacos, smoking meat and honing his BBQ skills on smokers called Precious and Pedro. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.