The Liberal Party candidate for Mandurah, Tony Solin, was told by his employers at the Peel Health Campus not to include the issue of private hospital expansion plans as part of his campaign.
Minutes from a September 7 board meeting of Health Solutions WA show the company was keen to control the way Mr Solin dealt with the hospital's expansion while contesting next year's election.
Among those at the meeting were managing director Neale Fong and chairman Mark Stowell.
"NF mentioned that following the event of 27 August to launch Tony Solin's political campaign, that it was prudent for the private hospital proposal to take a back seat in Tony's political campaign," the minutes said. HSWA has been embroiled in allegations of fraud with a damaging report to State Parliament released last week and the referral of one issue to the Corruption and Crime Commission.
The September board meeting was told that HSWA's major shareholder Jon Fogarty agreed with the way Mr Solin's campaign should be conducted.
The minutes record Mr Stowell saying that it would be wrong for Mr Solin, who was the hospital's public relations manager, to "piggyback on the company for his campaign" and that he should "find other issues to talk about".
"It was resolved that NF and MS will make this direction clear over a phone call," the minutes said.
In a separate document, an email from Mr Stowell to Mr Solin seven days before the board meeting, the HSWA chairman congratulated Mr Solin on his Liberal Party preselection and said the company would contribute $10,000 to his campaign.
"We would appreciate if this could be kept confidential Tony, as well as amongst all directors, given that we are a private company," Mr Stowell wrote.
Contacted by _The West Australian _yesterday, Mr Solin said he had never been directed not to discuss the hospital expansion while on the campaign trail.
"Absolutely not," he said. "I was never told that. That's first I've heard of that." But Mr Solin later contacted the newspaper to say he had found a diary entry confirming such a call took place.
Mr Stowell said yesterday that the board made the decision to speak to Mr Solin when he was still an employee of the hospital.Mr Stowell said once Mr Solin had left HSWA in October, he was free to campaign as he wished.
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