Ipswich scandal grows as ex-mayor Paul Pisasale’s associate is charged with laundering cash

After being found with a bag of cash, Paul Pisasale traded mayoral robes for a hospital gown and resigned.

After being found with a bag of cash, Paul Pisasale traded mayoral robes for a hospital gown and resigned. Photo: ABC

Prominent Queensland barrister Sam Di Carlo has been charged with money laundering after his associate, former Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale, was found with $50,000 in cash at Melbourne Airport.

Di Carlo is expected to face Brisbane Magistrates Court on June 21 after Queensland’s corruption watchdog on Friday added the fresh charge to perjury, ammunition and drug allegations levelled against him in September.

Pisasale was intercepted by Australian Federal Police in May last year with the money in a bag but, at the time, Di Carlo said it was to be passed onto a client as part of a court settlement.

“The CCC will allege in court that the (money laundering) offence occurred between May 10 and 14, 2017,” the Crime and Corruption Commission said on Friday.

Pisasale has not been charged over the incident but stood down as mayor in June citing health concerns.

He faces an bevy of unrelated charges, including corruption, extortion, assault, misconduct and perjury.

Di Carlo has described the cash incident as “innocent” but said it could have been “better thought out”.

The 61-year-old was charged with perjury in August over allegations he lied at an unrelated CCC investigative hearing, with ammunition and a restricted drug found during a search.

The CCC has charged five people this month over its investigations into beleaguered Ipswich City Council (ICC), including Andrew Antoniolli, who has stood down from mayoral duties since facing seven fraud allegations.

A total of 72 charges have been handed down against 15 people.

Former ICC chief executive Carl Wulff was charged before his successor, Jim Lindsay, stood down in January after being charged in September, while former chief operating officer Craig Maudsley is among other council figures investigated by the CCC.

The state Labor government has passed a bill through parliament to strengthen the powers of the local government minister to dismiss councillors.

Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe has moved to sack the ICC, but the 11-person council has vowed to fight to stay in power.


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