The Silicon Valley Voice

Power To Your Voice

Charges Filed Against Fired Santa Clara Swim Club Coach John Bitter

The Santa Clara District Attorney has decided to move forward with charges against the former head coach and CEO of the Santa Clara Swim Club, John Bitter. The prosecutor on the case recently filed four felony charges against Bitter, including grand theft.

The case must now make its way to a judge so that an arrest warrant can be issued.

“There’s a tremendous backlog,” said Peter Waite, the prosecutor on the case. “I’m told up to six months from the time we file criminal charges until the court actually issues the complaint and actually issues an arrest warrant.”


Bitter is accused of embezzling more than $600,000 from the Santa Clara Swim Club, though the charges filed against Bitter simply say grand theft and do not include an amount.

The Santa Clara Police Department says during its investigation, it found that Bitter took out a loan in the club’s name and used the money to invest it in a restaurant/bar in Arizona.

According to the website Swim Swam, it was against Santa Clara Swim Club policy to allow the CEO to take out money in the club’s name.The site also reports that Bitter, through his attorney, refused to give a statement to police.

As The Weekly first reported in October of last year, the Santa Clara Swim Club fired Bitter on Sept. 27, 2018 after investigating the incident and speaking with Bitter about what happened. Just two days later, the club reported the financial improprieties to Santa Clara police and an investigation was opened.

The Weekly has reached out to the Santa Clara Swim Club for a response, but has not received an answer.

The Santa Clara Swim Club board did not initially fill the head coach role after firing Bitter in September, however the team’s website now lists Allison Beebe as Head Coach.

Beebe was a Lead Coach under Bitter. She has served on a number of international swimming staffs in addition to working as a High Performance coach at the Santa Clara Swim Club.


  1. Nc 5 years ago

    Where is the Board of Directors? 600k seems like a huge over sight. The entire board should be charged.

  2. Concerned parent 5 years ago

    Where was the board in all of this? How were they not overseeing nor aware that there were issues? It feels like they were slacking on their jobs and the blame at least partially lies on them.

  3. Stephen 5 years ago

    Glad he was finally caught but this seems like too large a sum to go missing without plenty of others knowing about it. They should start investigating the board as well. This is some criminal negligence.

  4. Kelley 5 years ago

    Finally!! Hopefully this begins to crack open all that was really going on. The membership deserves true transparency.

  5. Matt 5 years ago

    It is about time board is also held accountable for the actions. This is too large a sum of money and has gone on for a long time. I don’t think the board wants the public to know the details. The coach and CEO since 2006 and financial improprieties only found in 2018. Too many people involved here.

  6. Chris 5 years ago

    This is what happens on swim teams. The parents on the board in general are afraid to speak up and fear retaliation against their own kids swimming careers. I am sure this happens more than is known. Head coaches should not be on the board or in one case I know ask to get rid of the board and let the head coach run the team.

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