Ex-mayor Pisasale plans to fight charges

Alexandra Patrikios
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Ex-mayor Pisasale plans to fight charges

Former Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale says he fights "for fair" and plans to challenge the criminal charges levelled against him, including extortion allegations.

The 65-year-old was granted bail in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Wednesday, a day after he was arrested and charged by the Crime and Corruption Commission with extortion and assault offences.

Asked by media outside the watch house if he would fight the charges, Pisasale replied: "Of course I will".

"All my life, people know that I've fought for Ipswich, that I've fought for fair and I'm going to continue to do that," he said.

"So I'm waiting for due process to happen."

He then took a moment to praise Ipswich as a "great place" before hopping into a waiting car and leaving the court precinct for a doctor's appointment.

In court, the former mayor was dressed in a standard-issue brown tracksuit and sat with his head down in the dock for much of his hearing.

Deputy Chief Magistrate Terry Gardiner granted him bail after hearing a police objection to his release and reading documents relating to the case, which he ruled could not be published.

Pisasale's court appearance came on the same day acting Ipswich Mayor Paul Tully declared he would run in the city's mayoral election, expected to take place around August.

Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt described the recent developments as a "significant event" that had surprised many, but stressed the legal process had to be followed.

Likewise, Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls said it would be inappropriate to comment while "the investigation is underway".

Before his resignation, Pisasale was one of Queensland's most popular politicians, securing more than 83 per cent of the vote at the 2016 local government election.

He called a press conference at an Ipswich hospital on June 6 to announce his resignation after 13 years as mayor, citing health concerns following a flare-up of multiple sclerosis.

It was later revealed he was intercepted at Melbourne Airport on May 13 by Australian Federal Police carrying $50,000 cash in a bag.

He has not been charged over that incident.

His friend, barrister Sam Di Carlo, says he asked Pisasale to carry the money, which he says belonged to one of his clients, as a favour.

The court appearance also comes a week after independent Queensland MP Rob Pyne tabled a four-page document in state parliament attacking him.

The document raised questions about his alleged links with developers and possible conflicts of interest involving councillors and staff.

Pisasale's matter will return to court on July 17.