A former little league coach and president was in Butte County Superior Court Wednesday to face a charge of grand theft by embezzlement from the Gridley Little League. The charge alleges that between December, 2016 and February 2017, William Robert Davis, 43, of Gridley, embezzled approximately $48,755 in money from the Gridley Little League general and snack bar funds.

District Attorney Mike Ramsey said the case originated when a newly installed league treasurer discovered the league’s account at a local bank was overdrawn and began to investigate. Upon discovering over $40,000 missing, the treasurer notified the Gridley-Biggs Police Department for a criminal investigation.

The resulting police investigation revealed numerous checks in amounts varying between hundreds and thousands of dollars were drawn on league accounts, payable to cash and signed by Davis himself. The checks included one for $14,000 with which Davis is alleged to have purchased a recreational vehicle, which was subsequently located at his residence. That vehicle was turned over by Davis in May of this year to the Little League, and has since been sold to recoup some of the monies taken.

Ramsey said Davis, if convicted, faces up to three years in county prison and will be ordered to pay restitution. Davis entered a plea of not guilty to the single count charged and a preliminary hearing was scheduled for September 6, 2017. Davis was released on his own recognizance pending that hearing as he had voluntarily come to court to face the charge.