The Bellevue School District has ceased all purchases from coach Butch Goncharoff’s company, saying payments to him violated district policies.

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The Bellevue School District has spent more than $175,000 over at least 16 years to buy jerseys, shirts and other gear from Bellevue High School’s football coach.

Payments to Butch Goncharoff’s business were approved by a variety of officials, according to records released this week under public-disclosure laws. School district leaders said they weren’t aware that Goncharoff owned Bay City Printing until late last year.

The school district has ceased all purchases to Goncharoff’s company, saying payments to him violated district policies.

“We’re taking ownership of it,” said district spokeswoman Elizabeth Sytman. “It is the district’s responsibility. Once we found out, we took appropriate action.”

Bellevue football investigation:

· Complete Bellevue scandal coverage »

Previously:

· Bellevue football banned from postseason for 4 years

· WIAA lifts Bellevue postseason ban, strips two state titles

· Cedar Park Christian hires ex-Bellevue coach Butch Goncharoff

· Two-year ban for Goncharoff ruled violation of union rights

· After upheaval, sanctions, Bellevue ready to get back to playing football again

Read full KingCo sanctions on Bellevue

· Report: Bellevue coaches violated rules for years, district obstructed probe

Read full WIAA investigative report

 

Malaika Eaton, an attorney for Goncharoff, said any suggestion that the district didn’t know that Goncharoff owned the company is “nonsense.” She said it was another example of the district’s “inconsistent and ever-changing ‘interpretations’ of their own policies.”

Pat Jones, the team’s longtime assistant head coach, said school-district officials have long known that Goncharoff owned the business and that he was doing the work even before he was hired as a coach. He expressed bewilderment about the district “pretending” not to have known.

Jones said the district’s posture changed during an independent investigation of the football program, which began last year and ultimately resulted in a harsh 68-page report.

Goncharoff’s income has been a source of scrutiny in recent months and during that independent investigation. The school district has provided him with a regular coaching stipend, which was $7,000 in 2015. But he has also been paid about $60,000 per year from the team’s wealthy booster club.

School district officials have said the booster club payments violated policy, and they have moved to terminate him for accepting the money and failing to be forthcoming when district leaders questioned him about whether he received payments from the club.

Goncharoff’s screen-printing business does not have a large public presence. It doesn’t appear to have a website. Goncharoff’s cellphone voicemail says callers have reached “Bellevue Screen Printing,” not Bay City Printing. In some of the invoice documents filed with the district, the company’s address is listed as Goncharoff’s home in Medina.

But Goncharoff built broad business from the school district, selling T-shirts, baseball caps, sweatpants and awards. Some of the sales were to middle schools and other high schools in the district.

Other customers had a close relationship to the football program. Last fall, Cindy Pardee, who leads the varsity cheerleading program, got a quote from Goncharoff via text message and then requested money from the district to buy T-shirts for the junior cheer program. Pardee is the wife of Greg Pardee, who was listed as an officer of the Bellevue football booster club in its most recent tax filing.

Cindy Pardee wasn’t sure why district officials were suddenly questioning the business. She said she had listed Goncharoff’s name regularly on purchase orders that she filed over the past decade. She said she went to Goncharoff’s business because it offered good prices and often could turn around an order quickly.

“I don’t think there is anything wrong here. It was on the up-and-up,” Pardee said.

Jones, the assistant head football coach, requested $4,555.20 in 2014 for “screen printing on practice jerseys” at a cost of $32 per jersey, according to one document. The vendor contact on the form was simply listed as “Butch.”

Jones said the jerseys were a heavy mesh with a custom logo and a printing style that improves the longevity of the jersey, something needed for Bellevue’s run-focused style of play. He said he has vetted Goncharoff’s pricing and never had any qualms about using the coach’s business.

He said officials at Bellevue could have stopped them from using Bay City at any time.

In recent weeks, team supporters have been battling to reinstate Goncharoff, who has been placed on leave pending final decisions about his status, and Jones, who was initially told his contract would not be renewed. The district has since decided to pay Jones for the upcoming season but have placed him on “administrative leave” and directed him not to have contact with football players, according to documents provided by Jones.

Jones is challenging the district’s decision, arguing that it has violated the collective-bargaining agreement for Bellevue coaches.

District officials, meanwhile, have challenged the sanctions imposed on the program by the KingCo Conference, which recommended banning Bellevue football from the playoffs for four years, and prohibiting the football program from receiving outside donations for four years.

Bellevue has acknowledged some violations and proposed some reforms. The conference voted for stiffer sanctions, including banning Bellevue High football from the postseason for four years.

A panel of principals is now hearing the appeal. Sytman, the district spokeswoman, said a ruling on the appeal may not happen until mid-July. The next step would be the executive boards of the Sea-King District and the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA).

An earlier version of this article gave an incorrect amount for Goncharoff’s regular coaching stipend.