Former Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale ahead of a press conference announcing his intention to quit the position. File picture
Former Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale ahead of a press conference announcing his intention to quit the position. File picture

From fine dining to lonely grocery aisles

ANIMATED to the point of hyperactive and basking in the public spotlight, the man once known as "Mr Ipswich" is now living a reclusive existence in the city he spent more than a decade spruiking.

Paul Pisasale's white two-storey house sits on a hill in Brassall, affording glimpses of the outer reaches of the city he presided over as mayor for 14 years.

Paul Pisasale doing a spot of grocery shopping in Ipswich.
Paul Pisasale doing a spot of grocery shopping in Ipswich.

It is here, in the family home bought with his wife Janet in 1992 - a year after he won a spot on the council - that Pisasale is living a hermit-like life while his criminal charges slowly navigate their way through the court system.

Sources say the deflated former politician spends his time on the couch in front of the television.

More than a year on from his stunning resignation and subsequent arrest, the once gregarious mayor these days is seldom seen.

Rare sightings include a trip to the local supermarket, including one a few suburbs away, in Karalee.

Former Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale poses for a selfie with a woman at an Ipswich supermarket.
Former Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale poses for a selfie with a woman at an Ipswich supermarket.

Sporting joggers, shorts, a purple business shirt and carrying a shopping basket, Pisasale displayed his previous affable man-of-the-people charm by agreeing to pose for a selfie with a fellow shopper.

He was also spotted having lunch at the local Mihi Tavern, known for its "Road House Grill" steaks.

But it's a major departure from his previous high-flying existence as the popular self-fashioned champion of Ipswich.

A favourite haunt for Pisasale while mayor was restaurant Gambaro on Caxton St, Brisbane (Pisasale was such a fixture he could order special dishes off the menu).

There was also the luxe top floor West End apartment he owned between 2011 and 2013 with a developer's wife, while championing the same developer's projects in Ipswich. He then denied a conflict of interest.

Pisasale also racked up plentiful frequent flyer points travelling overseas, including hiring a private jet to zigzag the US in 2010 on a trip, details of which council later paid lawyers $83,000 to try and block from public release under right-to-information laws.

He is now staring down the barrel of a protracted legal battle, with the Crime and Corruption Commission poised to lay further charges.

Pisasale is already facing a string of charges, including perjury, corruption and extortion. He has previously denied wrongdoing and vowed to fight the charges. He was unable to be reached for comment.



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