President of New Caledonia's northern province Paul Neaoutyine has been given an eight-month suspended prison sentence for misspending public funds.
The criminal court in Noumea also fined him $US5,000 for diverting funds from 2012 to 2015 to various organisations, including one in charge of transporting disabled children.
Mr Neaoutyine argued that such transport was the responsibility of the territorial government, which he said didn't do its job.
He said he wasn't authorised to call for tenders and yet he wouldn't leave the children without support.
It is not known if he will appeal.
Mr Neaoutyine, who is the leader of the pro-independence Palika party, has been pushing for New Caledonia to become an independent country, but in a partnership with France.