The San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office filed charges against two former Caltrain employees for allegedly misusing public funds to construct personal residences within train stations.

Former Caltrain’s deputy director of operations, Joseph Navarro, and station manager Seth Worden are accused of felony misappropriation of public funds, per KPIX.

Navarro allegedly directed the conversion of an office space at the Burlingame station into his personal residence from 2019 to 2020. The District Attorney’s office alleges Navarro enlisted contractors, approved by Worden, to install amenities such as a kitchen, shower, heating, plumbing, and security cameras.

Prosecutors claim Navarro and Worden kept renovation costs below $3,000 per invoice to circumvent Caltrain’s approval process. This strategy allegedly allowed Navarro to occupy the Burlingame station as his primary residence until an anonymous tip in 2022 led to his discovery and subsequent termination.

Worden, a former station manager employed by TransAmerica Services Inc., the company contracted to operate Caltrain, faces similar charges. According to the DA’s office, Worden replicated Navarro’s scheme at the Millbrae station in 2019. However, Caltrain employees reportedly identified Worden’s unauthorized residence in 2020 and terminated his employment, per the Chronicle.

The total cost of the alleged misappropriation is around $50,000, with $42,000 for the Burlingame station renovations and $8,000 for Millbrae project.

Worden pleaded not guilty on Wednesday, but still awaits a preliminary hearing. Navarro’s arraignment is scheduled, where he will enter a plea.

Feature image via Unsplash/Flipboard.