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OC: San Clemente's Patton explains the "slush" fund

Eric Patton lost his job last week as head coach of San Clemente's football program after 11 seasons following an eight-month school district investigation into a so-called slush fund scheme operated by the former owner of an apparel and equipment store.

Patton tells his side in a terrific story in the Orange County Register.

Notably, Patton says: "I've got nothing to hide, I've got nothing to fear. ... I'm innocent."

Patton's explanation substantiated a private claim he made to ESPNLA a few weeks ago, that the "slush" funds were going back into the football program.

San Clemente comes into this season ranked No. 22 in the ESPNLA top 25 ranking.

There's also a curious comment from Capistrano Valley Unified School District Superintendent Joe Farley, who talked to San Clemente players and parents Monday night along with Principal George Duarte. Farley has said the district was the victim of a slush-fund scam in which school funds were embezzled and that arrests may be warranted.

"I would encourage you not to rush to judgment on either side of this question," Farley is quoted telling the players and parents. "We will be ultra fair and ultra sympathetic throughout this entire thing. There is no interest in (making this) an example or a vendetta or anything like that."