A woman accused of defrauding a Cape Girardeau women’s shelter of more than $20,000 pleaded not guilty in court Wednesday. 43-year old Allison Leonard, appearing before Judge Craig Brewer in Cape Girardeau, waived her arraignment and entered a plea of not guilty on one count each of theft and fraudulent use of a credit device, both felonies. Leonard was appointed Safe House executive director in November 2013 and was dismissed a year later. Detective Jeff Lucas of the Cape Girardeau Police Department says during her tenure, she allegedly used Safe House’s credit card to buy items for personal use at Kohl’s, Academy Sports + Outdoors, Amazon.com and other businesses, as well as to pay for insurance, her son’s university tuition, vehicle taxes, car payments and cellphone bills. After her termination, Safe House staff found credit-card statements with transactions and cash advances whited out and photocopies placed in a file for audit purposes. Before being appointed executive director, Leonard had been the Safe House’s director of operations since 2003. If convicted, Leonard faces up to four years in prison and a maximum $5,000 fine on the fraud charge and up to seven years and $5,000 fine on the theft charge. Leonard’s next court appearance will be a preliminary hearing at 11 a.m. May 6.