Ally of Michelle O’s School Lunch Program Skimmed $65K to Fund Culinary Firm

What’s worse, he banned kids eating pizza and pb&j's!

Michelle Obama invited a chef and food services director for the Los Angeles Unified School District to a White House roundtable as a partner in her push to get American kids eating healthier. But just last week, David Binkle was indicted on “multiple counts of embezzlement, misappropriation of public funds, conflict of interest, forgery, and perjury,” according to The Washington Free Beacon.

Apparently, Binkle, who earned over $150,000 in annual salary, skimmed $65,000 from the LAUSD school lunch program to fund his own culinary consulting firm and a personal bank account, the report states. In 2015, Binkle was fired from his job after being accused of misappropriating school funds.

The Free Beacon describes Binkle’s role in the Let’s Move program:

In 2014, Binkle traveled to the White House for a nutrition roundtable with Mrs. Obama. Binkle bragged that he had replaced chicken nuggets with edamame in L.A. schools. He posted as a guest blogger on Mrs. Obama's Let's Move website, and thanked the former first lady for pushing uniform standards in school cafeterias that cut sodium and mandated whole grains.

Here is what he wrote in his blog post about how LA kids live in “food deserts:”

The city of Los Angeles is known all around the world for Hollywood, Beverly Hills, celebrities as well as glitz and glamour. There are more than 125,000 millionaires and more than 20 billionaires in this city I now call home. But the reality is there is still a big discrepancy in quality of life between the elite and the majority of students I serve as food services director at Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the second largest school district in the country…

Today, we no longer serve items like flavored milk, chicken nuggets, tater tots, corn dogs, pizza, and nachos. Today, what we do serve are atypical ‘kid-friendly items': edamame, jicama sticks, teriyaki chicken bowls, turkey and vegetarian burgers as well as fresh fruits and vegetables.

When Binkle gave a TED Talk one year, he bragged about banning pizza and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to great applause. What kind of monster is he?

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore via / CC BY-SA