SANTA ANA — Officials Thursday arrested and charged a former La Habra police officer suspected of embezzling more than $60,000 from a charity law enforcement organization he volunteered for.
Kirk Robert Lotzgesell, 43, of Winchester is accused of taking the money from the Orange County Cop Bowl Association between 2007 and 2009 while he served as an unpaid treasurer for the organization, Orange County District Attorney’s Officials said in a written statement. The OCCBA runs football games between police officers and firefighters to raise money for youth scholarships.
“Lotzgesell is accused of stealing over $60,000 from OCCBA by writing checks to himself and making ATM withdrawals from the organization’s accounts,” according to the district attorney’s office statement. “He’s accused of spending the stolen money on personal expenses and bills.”
After being arrested Thursday by Brea police, who investigated the case, Lotzgesell appeared in court and was charged with a felony count of grand theft, officials said.
He was released from jail on his own recognizance early Friday, counting booking records show. He could not be reached for comment.
Lotzgesell was hired by the La Habra Police Department in October of 1989 and “separated” in January of 2006 at the rank of corporal, department spokeswoman Cindy Knapp said. Due to personnel policies, she said, she declined to comment on the circumstances of his separation from the agency.
In 2007, Lotzgesell began volunteering as treasurer for the OCCBA, “after misrepresenting himself himself to the organization as a current police officer on medical leave,” according to the district attorney’s office statement.
His occupation is listed as “Realtor” in booking records.
In its 34-year history, the OCCBA has raised over $1 million for charity, officials said.
Prior to his release, Lotzgesell was initially scheduled to be arraigned Monday at the Central Jail courthouse in Santa Ana, district attorney’s officials said. His updated court date following his release was not available early Friday.
If convicted as charged, Lotzgesell could face up to three years in state prison.
PHOTO of Kirk Lotzgesell courtesy of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office