Former Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale is eligible for parole in October 2022.
Former Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale is eligible for parole in October 2022.

Could corrupt Paul Pisasale run for mayor again?

CORRUPT former Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale could run for office again once he is released from jail.

The 69-year-old was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison in September for more than 30 criminal charges but is eligible for parole in October next year.

The long list of offences he was found guilty of included official corruption, sexual assault, fraud, perjury and the unlawful possession of sex drugs.

Paul Pisasale resigns as mayor at St Andrew’s Ipswich Private Hospital in 2017.
Paul Pisasale resigns as mayor at St Andrew’s Ipswich Private Hospital in 2017.

In his 13-year stint as the city's mayor, 'Mr Ipswich' was a hugely popular figure and his last election victory in 2016 was a landslide with 83.45 per cent of the popular vote.

That all came crashing down a little over a year later when he resigned from his post in his pyjamas at a press conference at St Andrew's Ipswich Private Hospital, citing health concerns.

His announcement came a day after the Crime and Corruption Commission raided his office and house and a month after he was stopped at Melbourne Airport in possession of $50,000 in cash.

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In August 2018 the state government dismissed the council after former Mayor Andrew Antoniolli was also charged with fraud, with the organisation remaining under a period of administration for more than 18 months.

Mr Antoniolli's fraud convictions were set aside on appeal in the Ipswich District Court in December.

Elected representatives were returned in April last year with Ipswich's first female mayor Teresa Harding voted in to the top job.

Cr Harding, the city's 51st mayor, secured 41.11 of the popular vote and 62.98 per cent after preferences.

She has been in power for a year as of Wednesday.

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding does not wear the city’s mayoral robe formerly worn by Pisasale.
Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding does not wear the city’s mayoral robe formerly worn by Pisasale.

The QT revealed in January that Cr Harding has refused to wear the city's mayoral robes after learning they were used by Pisasale during the sexual assault of a young woman in council offices.

According to the Local Government Act, Pisasale could run for office again before the end of the decade.

Whether a return to public office is something he is mulling over while locked up at the Wolston Correctional Centre in Wacol is unknown.

According to the act, you cannot be a councillor if you have been convicted of a treason offence - which Pisasale was not - or if you are bankrupt or a prisoner.

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However, you are only disqualified from being a councillor for seven years after being convicted of a serious integrity offence, which includes official corruption, misconduct in relation to public office, bribery, perjury and extortion.

Some of Pisasale's convictions fall under this serious integrity category, meaning he could run again from 2028.

It remains to be seen whether he would consider another run, especially considering he would be edging closer to 80-years-old, or whether new laws would be introduced over that time which would disqualify him.

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Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.



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