QUEBEC CITY - Lise Thibault, the former lieutenant-governor of Quebec who's accused of pocketing $700,000 in taxpayer funds, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to fraud and other charges.

She was not present in a Quebec City court when her lawyer entered the pleas on charges of fraud, breach of trust, and falsifying documents.

Her next court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday.

A report written by Quebec auditor general Renaud Lachance and his federal counterpart, Sheila Fraser, alleges Thibault was reimbursed $700,000 between 1997 and 2007 for expenses unrelated to her official duties.


Her taxpayer-funded expenses included $4,000 for a family birthday party, a $1,600 golf trip to New Brunswick and $5,600 for two ski trips to Mont Tremblant.

She later defended her spending before a legislature committee, saying she was on duty 24 hours a day 365 days a year.

Thibault also added that her spending was never criticized by MNAs when her spending estimates were studied.

She insists she is the victim of a disgraceful smear campaign and blamed her problems on scandal-hungry media.

- With Files from The Canadian Press -