The West

Peel whistleblower fined $1000
Ashton Foley outside court yesterday. Picture: Nathan Dyer

Disgraced Peel Health Campus whistleblower Ashton Foley was fined $1000 yesterday by a Victorian magistrate after pleading guilty to breaching a community-based order.

Victorian police arrested Foley, 40, on Tuesday for breaching the order by going to WA in 2011.

The mother of seven was later employed by Western Power and then as chief operating officer at PHC in Mandurah on more than $250,000 a year.

Bairnsdale Magistrate's Court was told Foley was put under the order on April 7, 2011 for "serious" dishonesty offences.

_The _ _West Australian _understands the order related to 24 charges.

Foley's lawyer Peter Murphy said in court the total financial benefit his client gained from those offences was $4400.

Some of the money had been repaid.

Mr Murphy said though the original offences were serious, Foley was suffering grief at the time after the death of one of her children after she gave birth to twins in the US in 2008.

The court was told Foley, who moved from the US to Australia in 2007, went to WA in 2011 in an attempt to get away from her estranged husband Wayne, who had alcohol-related issues.

After handing hundreds of internal health campus documents to the Labor Party in WA last year, Foley testified to a parliamentary committee accusing the hospital of fraud and corruption.

_The West Australian _exposed her fraudulent past, including outstanding arrest warrants in the US, this month.

Mr Murphy said his client was not aware that moving to WA would breach her community order.

She returned to Victoria in December after quitting PHC and was made chief executive of a regional health service east of Melbourne.

The court was told Foley had "no savings and no assets" and was unemployed after resigning from her Victorian job when her employer "became aware of issues in WA".

Mr Murphy asked the court for leniency when sentencing his client given her guilty plea, domestic circumstances and "grim" financial situation.

Foley, who appeared under the name Michelle Foley, was ordered to pay a fine of $1000 for breaching the community-based order and was released.

As she left court, she told reporters that recent allegations about her were nothing but "lies" and "political propaganda".

The West Australian

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