Peter Beattie: Paul Pisasale 'did a lot but stayed too long'
PAUL Pisasale is at a private lunch, grinning and in his element. The then mayor of Ipswich has half a beer in front of him at an eatery in Brisbane's South Bank. It's a perfect blue-sky afternoon and sitting with him are nine men, many of whom number among Queensland's old-school establishment. They include the late Con Sciacca, a former Labor minister turned lobbyist, David Kemp, a successful manufacturer from Logan, and Joe Richards, a Brisbane restaurant owner.
It's from a 2012 photo obtained by Insight, under Right to Information laws, which Pisasale has labelled as the "Rat Pack", a reference to the 1960s group of American celebrities including crooner Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.
The image captures Pisasale at his peak: Here's a wildly popular politician with an extraordinarily deft ability to mix with the common man in his city of 200,000 and rub shoulders with big names from different industries.
Everything is going to burn down within five years.
First he is stopped in May this year carrying $50,000 at Melbourne airport and Australian Federal Police seize the cash. Then, a month later, he resigns and just weeks later the state's Crime and Corruption Commission arrest him on charges including extortion.
Pisasale maintains he has done nothing wrong and will fight the charges.
Read more on the Courier Mail.