Two former employees of the Tehachapi Cemetery District have been charged by the Kern County District Attorney’s office with multiple felonies.

Dennis Harold Lutge, who once served as the district manager, is charged with three felony counts of misappropriation of public funds and three felony counts of grand theft of property.

Brooke Cantwell, who once served as a secretary for the district, is charged with four felony counts of misappropriation of public funds and four felony counts of grand theft of property.

According to Assistant District Attorney Joseph A. Kinzel, the offenses are alleged to have occurred during a time encompassing January 2015 through December 2018.

"An arrest warrant has been issued for Cantwell, and law enforcement is actively seeking her arrest, and there has been no indication that she plans to self-surrender at this point," Kinzel said July 8.

Kinzel stated the total loss will depend upon the charges that are successfully proven, and the loss amount is not specifically alleged in the complaint.

Lutge surrendered June 2 and is scheduled to appear for a pre-preliminary hearing July 17, followed by a preliminary hearing July 20, at the Metro Division of the Kern County Superior Court in Bakersfield.

"Due to the circumstances, I am unable to provide any comment since the allegation involves personnel," wrote Danny Brown, the acting district manager for the Tehachapi Cemetery District, in an email July 7.

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