IOWA CITY — A former driver’s education instructor whose license was suspended earlier this year continued to teach under another instructor’s identity, police said.
A month after the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, the Iowa Department of Transportation and Iowa Department of Education said they were investigating allegations that 65-year-old Frederick Bindner was still providing driver’s education instruction — despite being suspended from doing so — the sheriff’s office arrested the Mount Pleasant man on one count of identity theft, a Class D felony.
From June 16 to June 27, Bindner taught a driver’s education course at the Johnson County Fairgrounds under the name of another licensed driver’s education instructor, according to the sheriff’s office. There were more than 40 students in the class and each paid nearly $400 to attend the course.
Bindner admitted to teaching the course under a stolen identity, police said.
While Bindner was not licensed to teach the course, Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek said the Iowa Department of Transportation still plans to honor the certificates the students earned.
“What it boils down to is the guy is qualified to teach the class, but he’s not authorized to,” Pulkrabek said.
Binder’s license to teach was suspended by the Board of Educational Examiners in April 2014 for two incidents that occurred in June 2011. Board documents state that on June 27, 2011, Bindner took three female students — all of whom were teenagers — to the Olive Garden in Coralville for dinner. According to the board, Bindner offered wine to the girls — ages 14, 16 and 17 at the time — and two accepted.
During the second incident, which occurred either on June 27 or June 29, Bindner and the three students stopped at a Wal-Mart, purportedly to practice parking. The board stated that the girls used the restroom at the store, and Binder went to purchase soft drinks.
While inside, the students and Bindner became separated for 15 to 45 minutes. When they were reunited, Bindner allegedly lost his temper, cursed at the girls and told them they would not be getting their certificates for the class and would have to “earn them back,” according to the board.
Following the Wal-Mart incident, one of the girls reported the two incidents to her parents. The girl’s father confronted Bindner and also filed a complaint with the Coralville Police Department.
Bindner was charged with two counts of providing alcohol to minors, to which he later pleaded guilty. In January 2012, he received two 30-day jail sentences, which were suspended.
The board documents indicate Bindner sold his business to his daughter.
According to documents, a complaint was filed with the Board of Educational Examiners in July 2011. The board accused Bindner of suppling alcohol to a student, misuse of public funds and property by failing to use time or funds granted for their intended purpose, unethical practice and conviction of a crime. In response to the investigation, the board suspended Bindner’s teaching license.
Darcy Lane, a lawyer and investigator with the Board of Educational Examiners, said Bindner filed for judicial review following the board’s decision, but dropped that appeal. He agreed to be suspended until August 2015, Lane said.
A Class D felony is punishable by up to five years in prison.