The following is a joint statement from the Amador County District Attorney's Office and the Amador County Unified School District:
The Amador County District Attorney's Office filed a motion on July 30, 2020 to dismiss felony theft and vandalism charges against Timothy Swisher due to insufficiency of the evidence. Ethically, if at any time a prosecutor believes that they have insufficient evidence to convince a unanimous jury of the defendant's guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, they must dismiss the case.
Swisher had been charged with felony grand theft by embezzlement and vandalism. The offenses occurred between 2015 and 2019 when he was the head coach of the Amador High School Wrestlers wrestling team. During that time, it was alleged that Swisher was entrusted with fundraising monies and school equipment that he converted to his own use.
Following the preliminary hearing in the case, the District Attorney's Office conducted substantial follow up investigation involving interviews and re-interviews of numerous witnesses. The investigation showed that the wrestling program, according to one witness, "operated in the shadows." Although the school had a "Restricted Booster" checking account available to coaches into which fundraising money could be deposited, the school had no formal policy requiring a coach to deposit fundraising monies into the account. According to a witness, a coach could receive fundraiser checks made payable to himself, negotiate the checks into a personal account and keep the proceeds to distribute as he saw fit. The Restricted Booster Account deposits and offsets were not monitored or audited to confirm whether proceeds from fundraisers were deposited into the account or how the proceeds were spent if the coach maintained possession of the funds.
Due to the lack of oversight, it could not be proven that Swisher diverted property belonging to another. The District Attorney investigation also revealed that the felony vandalism charge brought against Swisher due to his cutting of a tournament wrestling mat could no longer be substantiated due to conflicting statements by witnesses.
The Amador County Unified School District is aware of the District Attorney's investigation involving a former walk-on wrestling coach at Amador High School. Although the charges are to be dismissed in this case, the District is committed to maintaining the highest level of integrity and fiscal oversight throughout its school programs, including best practices, training, and support measures to ensure transparency and accountability for its employees and schools. The District takes this case very seriously and is implementing action for the upcoming school year, including mandated training for all employees involved with the external Booster Clubs associated with our schools.