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L.A. Unified Food Guru David Binkle Is Pulled From Job

In the last five years, Los Angeles Unified has won national acclaim — including praise from First Lady Michelle Obama — for its bold initiatives to transform school food from fatty meals to more healthful fare.

But the man who led much of the change has been removed from his position pending an internal district investigation into alleged conflicts of interest and mismanagement of the nation’s second-largest school meal system, The Times has learned.

David Binkle, the district’s 52-year-old food services director, is accused by the Office of the Inspector General of failing to report payments from vendors to attend school food conferences and ownership interests in a private food-related consulting firm.