COC chef instructor charged with embezzlement

Chef David Binkle.



A chef instructor at College of the Canyons charged with more than a dozen counts including misappropriation of funds, embezzlement of public funds and conflict of interest, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to the charges on which he was arraigned.

David Glenn Binkle, 55, identified by prosecutors as the former director of food services for the Los Angeles Unified School District, appeared in court Tuesday at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center where he was formally charged with committing several crimes involving the District, not COC.

“He was arraigned and he pleaded not guilty,” Ricardo Santiago, spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office told The Signal Wednesday.

Binkle is charged with 15 felony counts: three counts each of misappropriation of public funds by a public officer, embezzlement of public funds and conflict of interest; five counts of perjury; and one count of forgery.

Between 2010 and 2014, Binkle is alleged to have funneled approximately $65,000 from LAUSD to a culinary club that he controlled as president, prosecutors with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said Tuesday.

He also is alleged to have placed some of those funds into his personal bank account.

During this time period, the defendant also is accused of forging an application to become a vendor to LAUSD and misappropriating school district funds.

Binkle additionally failed to report his outside financial interests, as is required of a public employee in his position.

The alleged offenses were discovered in August 2013 after an LAUSD audit, according to the charging document.

If convicted as charged, Binkle faces a maximum sentence of 13 years, eight months in state prison. Bail is recommended at $220,000. The case was filed for arrest warrant on Aug. 2.

Deputy District Attorneys Susan Ser and David Barkhurst of the Public Integrity Division are assigned to the case, which remains under investigation by the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation.

Binkle appears on COC’s webpage profiling the college’s Culinary Arts Chef Instructors.

On the Rate My Professor website, Binkle was given an average rating, described by one commenter as a “laid back prof.”

Binkle is scheduled to resume teaching this fall.

“He is employed and he is scheduled to teach classes this fall,” COC spokesman John Green said Wednesday.

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