Former Ispwich mayor Paul Pisasale.
Former Ispwich mayor Paul Pisasale. David Nielsen

Paul Pisasale lawyer charged with extortion

IPSWICH lawyer Cameron James McKenzie, who was working with former mayor Paul Pisasale on matters regarding his extortion charge, has also been charged with extortion by the Crime and Corruption Commission.

The Crime and Corruption Commission has been advised that a 35-year-old Churchill man - who The Courier-Mail has confirmed to be McKenzie - charged with extortion today has been bailed and is expected to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Friday, August 4.

The charges come exactly a month after Mr Pisasale was charged on June 20.

Mr McKenzie said today he was unaware of the details of the charges.

"I have fully co-operated with authorities," he said.

"I've only been given a bail sheet and a charge sheet."

McKenzie was unable to comment further, but has previously told The Courier-Mail his office was raided by the CCC on the day of Mr Pisasale's arrest.

He said officers obtained copies of his laptop and phone.

McKenzie also confirmed to The Courier-Mail that he was aware of a phone call made by Pisasale in which the former mayor allegedly posed as a private investigator and sought money from a New South Wales taxi driver.

He said the money was for a female friend of Pisasale, Yiu Tian Li, who had moved from China to Australia to be with the taxi driver before she found out he was married.

McKenzie said the phone call came before two legal letters of demand he helped compile for Pisasale.

"He was trying to get this debtor to reimburse Yiu Tian Li for reasonable costs, and that's not extortion," McKenzie said.

A public Facebook post on Mr McKenzie’s wall at 12.15pm simply said “not guilty” but it had been deleted within 20 minutes. It was unclear whether Mr McKenzie himself had written the post.
A public Facebook post on Mr McKenzie’s wall at 12.15pm simply said “not guilty” but it had been deleted within 20 minutes. It was unclear whether Mr McKenzie himself had written the post.

Bail conditions arising from Pisasale's appearance before Brisbane Magistrates Court in June included preventing him from contacting McKenzie, Ms Li and alleged victims.

Lawyer Cameron McKenzie
Lawyer Cameron McKenzie Rob Williams

Pisasale's defence solicitor Glen Cranny argued to remove the bail condition, saying McKenzie was Pisasale's property lawyer and the two were working together to assist Ms Li.

In court last month, police prosecutor Matt Kahler said McKenzie and Ms Li were "key material witnesses to the extortion charge" relating to Pisasale.

McKenzie works for LPM Law, is a member of the Labor Party and has revealed his own political aspirations, saying he was considering running for a position on Ipswich City Council.

The CCC issued a statement this morning saying a 35-year-old Churchill man had been charged with extortion following an investigation.

"The man is expected to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court today," the statement said.

"As the CCC's investigation remains ongoing and these matters are now before the court, the CCC is unable to comment further."

Pisasale resigned as mayor on May 6, citing ill health, a day after his home and office were raided by the CCC.

Pisasale has said he will ­defend the allegations made against him.

The charges come exactly a month after Mr Pisasale was charged on June 20.

Mr McKenzie said today he was unaware of the details of the charges.

"I have fully co-operated with authorities," he said.

News Corp Australia


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