Pisasale's former staff 'disappointed' by extortion charge

 abc.net.au  6/20/2017 7:58:53 PM  3  Kym Agius and Melanie Vujkovic

Posted June 21, 2017 05:58:53

Ipswich City Council has distanced itself from former mayor Paul Pisasale following his arrest, with the ordeal deeply disappointing staff.

The 65-year-old, who resigned just over a fortnight ago, was yesterday charged with extortion and two other offences.

He was remanded in custody overnight to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court today.

Ipswich council chief executive Jim Lindsay said charges related solely to the alleged personal misconduct of Pisasale.

"I'm disappointed to hear through the media of [the] developments," Mr Lindsay said.

"I can assure everyone that there are deep feelings of disappointment that their former mayor has been arrested.

"Many council staff have worked closely with Mr Pisasale over a number of years.

"Council business however must operate as normal.

"This has always been the case, and has continued to be the case since the resignation of the former mayor.

"This won't change tomorrow, nor into the future."

Acting Mayor Paul Tully said he and his colleagues were shocked and had no warning.

"As I understand it, these are strictly personal matters — [they] have nothing to do with the Ipswich City Council," he said.

It has been just over a month since Pisasale was stopped at a Melbourne airport with $50,000 cash, after a one-night trip on official business interstate.

His home and office, west of Brisbane, was then raided on June 5, with the long-term mayor suddenly resigning the next day, citing ill health.

Wearing a hospital gown, Pisasale quit at a press conference held at his local hospital, where he was being treated for multiple sclerosis.

Pisasale had been mayor since 2004 after first being elected to council in 1991.

He won last year's council election with more than 80 per cent of the vote.

Topics: local-government, government-and-politics, courts-and-trials, law-crime-and-justice, ipswich-4305, qld, brisbane-4000

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