Quebec's former lieutenant-governor, Lise Thibault, who pleaded guilty to fraud and breach of trust charges in 2015, is now a free woman after serving six months in jail and then another year of conditional parole.
Her full parole was confirmed last week by the Quebec Parole Board.
Thibault, 78, was sentenced to 18 months and ordered to repay $300,000 to taxpayers after she pleaded guilty. The charges relate to expenses she claimed while in office.
Allegations of misspending first came to light at the end of her term (1997–2007), after a Quebec auditor's report challenged $711,200 of expenses, including housing and meals already paid for by the province.
During her sentencing, the judge said Thibault took advantage of holes in the system and abused her position of authority to pay for trips, golf lessons and birthday parties.
He also said that Thibault forgot that her role as lieutenant-governor was to be a good example for Quebecers.
- Lise Thibault ordered to repay $300K, serve 18 months
- Lise Thibault granted conditional release after serving 6 months
Part of her conditional parole included limitations on her movements, confining here to a 50-kilometre radius of her home.
Along with the $300,000 she paid to the Quebec and federal governments, Thibault was also ordered to pay nearly $1.5 million for tax owed on unreported income during her two terms.
She declared bankruptcy in June of this year, saying she couldn't pay the required amount.
Her husband Réal Cloutier told Radio-Canada that this was "the last blow."