Former chef instructor pleads guilty to forgery, conflict of interest

David Binkle.

A former director of food services for the Los Angeles Unified School District pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges he illegally approved contracts and forged a signature on a district application, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

David Glenn Binkle, 57, entered his plea to three felony counts of conflict of interest and one felony count of forgery.

“He was immediately sentenced to formal probation for three years and 90 days of community service,” DA spokesman Greg Risling said.

Deputy District Attorneys Susan Ser and David Barkhurst of the Public Integrity Division prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the DA’s Bureau of Investigation.

Between 2010 and 2014, Binkle illegally approved contracts where he had a conflict of interest, prosecutors said. He also forged a signature on an LAUSD vendor application.

The offenses were discovered in August 2013 after an LAUSD audit.

Binkle was a chef instructor at College of the Canyons until the spring of 2017.

In August 2017, Binkle was initially 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.

He initially pleaded not guilty to the charges on which he was arraigned.

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 in 2017.

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

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