LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Supporting Coach Patton

President of the Triton Touchdown Club says Capo Unified's trustees have a one-sided viewpoint into the controversy surrounding San Clemente's football coach, still on administrative leave.

EDITOR'S NOTE – Mark Klein is president of the Triton Touchdown Club. He spoke at last week's Capistrano Unified School District's Board of Trustee meeting and sent this letter to the trustees after that meeting. He has asked to share it with the public.

Dear Board of Trustees,
I wanted to take a minute and express my displeasure with the decision to limit the speakers this past Monday night from the normal three minutes to two minutes. This was a total lack of respect for those that prepared comments. One could certainly interpret this maneuver as a violation of the Brown Act on one hand, but at the very least this was done in poor taste.
I understand there were eight speakers, although I’m still not sure what Mr. Carter was speaking about. If you weren’t aware, Mr. Carter is an administrator for the district as a financial analyst. Let’s just say his comments were curious at best. His presence as a speaker and the significance of having an additional speaker that night is very meaningful given the fact that six of the eight speakers were set to speak on Eric Patton’s behalf.
Even with the eight speakers at three minutes each, this would only total 24 minutes. I know there are only 20 minutes allotted, but you would think an extra four minutes in the overall scheme of things would not have been that big of a deal. Given the fact that Eric Patton’s reputation and future is at stake here, I find it disturbing the board couldn’t capitulate and allocate the extra four minutes.  
In light of the fact the only information the board receives is from Dr. Farley and his team, you would think the board would be interested in hearing the other side of the argument. And believe me there is another side to the argument. Please do yourselves a favor and look into the facts that we do have, but really couldn’t present in a two-minute window. Trust me when I say if this was a civil case, it would have been thrown out a long time ago. The true evidence supports Eric Patton’s innocence. What you have been privy to is manipulated data and a litany of assumptions that are incorrect, all of which can be proven.  
Out of the approximate 80 districts that looked into the alleged Lapes scandal, I believe CUSD is the only district still pursuing this issue. All of the other districts dropped the case! Doesn’t this raise the slightest bit of doubt in your minds? I’m fortunate, I know Eric Patton is not guilty of any wrongdoing. I’ve been involved in the football program the past six years and have had the oversight of all finances. 
Given the amount of money that has recklessly been spent on this issue, the financial condition of the district and the bad press the district will incur, I’m asking you to reach out listen to some common sense. It’s time to drop this case against Eric Patton. The facts bear it out and there is no other logical decision you can come to. You were elected to make good moral and fiscal decisions, I trust you will do so. If you would like to know the real truth, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  
Mark W. Klein
FMI Products, LLC


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