The Santa Clara Police Department has completed its investigation into former Santa Clara swim coach John Bitter and now awaits a decision and potential arrest warrant from the district attorney, a police spokesperson says.
Bitter was fired by the Santa Clara Swim Club in late September, and news broke a few days later that police were investigating accusations that Bitter had embezzled at least $600,000 in club funds.
Santa Clara Police Captain Wahid Kazem told SwimSwam that the department has collected evidence and submitted its report to the district attorney’s office. The district attorney will decide whether or not to press charges against Bitter, though Kazem said the department expects that to happen.
“We fully anticipate that the district attorney’s office will press charges,” he said. “To this point, it’s apparent to us that there’s some financial misappropriation that was done beyond the limits that were set for Mr. Bitter. There’s some clear evidence of that.”
Kazem said police worked to sit down with Bitter to hear his side of the allegations, but Bitter’s attorney made clear that Bitter’s camp was not interested in making a statement to police.
Some of the missing money is related to a loan Bitter took out in the club’s name, something club policy did not allow for him to do.
“He did procure a loan on behalf of the club, which is in violation of the policies that were set for him,” Kazem said. “He withdrew money from that loan for his personal business ventures.
“Based off our investigation, it appears that Mr. Bitter spent the monies – via the loan or the amounts that he took out in cash – on purchasing a restaurant/bar in Arizona,” Kazem said. “That’s what we believe the majority if not all the money was spent on.”
Police expect the district attorney’s office to make a decision in roughly 4-6 weeks.