Virginia "Ginny" Foat (born 2 June 1941) is an American politician and feminist. She is currently serving as a city councilmember in Palm Springs, California.
Life and career
Foat was born to August and Virginia Galluzzo. She married Danny Angelillo in 1961, and the marriage was annulled in 1963. Foat learned she was pregnant. She went to a home for unwed mothers, where she stayed until she had the baby, which she gave up for adoption.
Foat returned home, where she met bartender John "Jack" Sidote in 1965 at the bar where she worked.
Foat and Sidote left New York for a new life. In her 1985 autobiography, Foat describes enduring five years of domestic violence, receiving her first beating on their honeymoon. She left the marriage in 1970.
Sidote was eventually convicted in 1983, seventeen years later, of manslaughter in California, for the 1967 slaying of Okeni Moe, when the police arrested him on unrelated charges.
Foat was found not guilty in 1983 for the brutal 1965 murder of Moise Chayo, after Sidote implicated her in that murder.
Ginny Foat married wealthy businessman Ray Foat in 1971.
She attended her first National Organization for Women meeting in 1974, and quickly moved up the ranks in the organization.
In 1977, Foat was arrested at the Burbank airport by the FBI after her former husband Sidote implicated her in the 1965 murder. She was released after three months when Sidote refused to testify against her.
Foat campaigned for the national vice presidency of NOW in 1982, but NOW member Shelly Mandell alerted Louisiana authorities of Foat's identity, and she was arrested and put on trial in 1983. Foat was found to be not guilty of the charges, but the incident affected her political ambitions.
Foat worked for several political causes throughout the 1980s and 1990s. During that time she tried to obtain a seat on the city council in West Hollywood.
After Foat's failure in West Hollywood she fled to Palm Springs, where she was elected to fill an unexpired term on the Palm Springs City Council in 2003, then elected to a full four-year term the following year.
After twelve years serving as a councilmember in Palm Springs, their city hall was raided by the FBI on September 1 2015. As of July 2016 the FBI raid remains an open investigation in Palm Springs.
Under the scrutiny of the FBI, IRS and Riverside DA's Office, then-Mayor Pougnet decided not to seek re-election in 2015.
Foat once again tried for the top position, seeking the mayoral seat. She spent over a quarter of a million dollars to ensure her the title of mayor of Palm Springs.
She retains her council seat until 2017 under the watchful eye of the FBI. Ginny Foat will leave office after her landslide lost for Mayor at the end of her term in 2017.