Former Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale charged with extortion and assault

Pisasale, 65, until recently one of Australia's most popular mayors, had spent a night in custody after his arrest by officers of Queensland's Crime and Corruption Commission.

His home and office west of Brisbane were then raided on June 5, with the long-term Ipswich mayor suddenly resigning the next day, citing ill-health.

The extortion charge reportedly relates to allegations Pisasale threatened to expose a businessman's dealings with a prostitute.

Mr Pisasale was arrested in Ipswich on Tuesday and charged by the Crime and Corruption Commission with extortion and assault-related offences, two weeks after he called a press conference in his pyjamas to announce his resignation.

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

He would not speculate on whether Mr Pisasale would be cleared, and said Ipswich City Council staff had been offered counselling.

Police prosecutor Matt Kahler also asked for bail conditions to ensure prosecution witnesses were protected.

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.

"This has always been the case, and has continued to be the case since the resignation of the former mayor on June 6".

It later emerged that Mr Pisasale had been stopped by Australian Federal Police with $50,000 cash at Melbourne Airport in May.

"There's no reason to suggest that either of them would (require) distancing from Mr Pisasale", Mr Cranny said.

"I would be astonished if it is not legit", Mr Di Carlo previously told Fairfax Media about the $50,000 in cash.

  • Zachary Reyes