SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) _ Zubin Mehta's wife testified Wednesday that Whitewater figure Susan McDougal, her former bookkeeper and personal assistant, was never authorized to sign checks or credit card receipts in her name.

Mrs. McDougal, 43, is on trial on charges of embezzling some $150,000 from the Mehtas during her employment from 1989 to 1992, allegedly using their credit cards and checks for travel, clothing and other luxuries.

Nancy Mehta testified that she travels often with her husband and left pre-signed checks at home to be used to pay household expenses while the couple were away.

Mrs. Mehta also denied assertions made by Mrs. McDougal's lawyer that there was a conflict between the Mehtas over how to spend their money.

Mrs. McDougal spent 18 months behind bars rather than testify before the grand jury investigating President Clinton's involvement in the Whitewater land deal. She also served 3 1/2 months in prison on a Whitewater-related fraud conviction.