Tuesday, August 8, 2017

"The man credited with leading an initiative that brought healthier meals to Los Angeles’ public school students has been charged with embezzlement, forgery and mismanagement of funds"

Binkle, whose work reducing the sodium and fat intakes of students in the country’s second-largest school district won praise from former First Lady Michelle Obama, is accused of siphoning roughly $65,000 worth of Los Angeles Unified School District funds to a culinary club he ran, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors also accused of him of funneling some of that money into a personal bank account.


Binkle, a chef, joined the district as a deputy director of food services in 2008 and was promoted to lead the district’s meal system in 2012. During Binkle’s tenure, the district won numerous awards through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “HealthierUS School Challenge.”

But problems arose just before Binkle took charge of the program. George Beck, a former food services deputy branch director responsible for accounting and budgets, previously told The Times he began questioning Binkle’s management of a $500,000 annual marketing program to promote healthful eating as early as 2011. Beck has claimed the district took no corrective action after his reports and said he was targeted for termination in retaliation.