View Comments
Whistleblower to quit over fraud arrest
Disgraced whistleblower: A US mugshot of Ashton Foley.

Disgraced whistleblower Ashton Foley is expected to resign today from her role as chief executive of a Victorian health service after she confessed to being wanted in the US for fraud.

_The Weekend West, _ which revealed on Saturday that Mrs Foley had been jailed in her home country in 2008, understands there was an urgent meeting of Orbost Regional Health Service board members yesterday.

Mrs Foley has been working in Orbost, about 300km east of Melbourne, since being hailed as a whistleblower for providing damaging documents to the Labor Party late last year about her former employers at Peel Health Campus.

But the 40-year-old mother of four trashed her own credibility on Saturday by admitting to Seven News that she had been arrested in the US State of Georgia, was bailed on an $8000 bond after two months in custody and left the country.

The confession came after strident denials that she was a woman called Michelle Marie Foley, who was charged with identity theft and fraud.

She claimed the charges relate to her dishonesty in filling out a car leasing application while on holiday in the US. She also falsified a US social security number.

"I would hope that anyone who hears this would think of a desperate situation in their life," she told Seven News on Saturday.

In an attempt to hide her true identity on Friday, Mrs Foley sent _The Weekend West _part of a Victorian death certificate, which she claimed proved her twins were born in Melbourne in 2008.

One of the twins later died.

She has since admitted the twins were born in the US shortly before her arrest and that she has gone by at least seven names over many years.

Despite the revelations, Mrs Foley said yesterday her allegations against PHC and its owners Health Solutions WA were credible.

"It shouldn't change anything," she told _The West Australian _. "Not only was the information I provided verified by other witnesses, but there were documents that confirm everything."

She had an ally in Opposition Leader Mark McGowan.

"The Government should not be using any revelations to delay the outcome of the inquiry," Mr McGowan said.

PHC chairman Mark Stowell said on Friday that Mrs Foley's evidence to a parliamentary inquiry in November was now rendered useless.

"It appears that everything Mrs Foley has done and said is based on a long-term pattern of deception," he said.

Mrs Foley, who was earning about $250,000 a year at PHC, said she also thought her past might be exposed.

"But I chose to come forward because I knew it was the right thing to do," she said.

Health Minister Kim Hames appointed retired neurosurgeon Professor Bryant Stokes to conduct a review of the practices at PHC.

It came after the report of Parliament's standing committee on estimates and financial operations, which described Mrs Foley as courageous.