Former Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale has been expelled from the Labor party

Paul Pisasale, the former mayor of Ipswich, has vowed to fight charges including extortion after being granted bail in the Brisbane magistrates court on Wednesday.

But “Mr Ipswich” cut a lonely figure in the dock yesterday as he faced serious criminal charges, including extortion, after his arrest on Tuesday.

Pisasale is now being held in a Brisbane watch-house after being questioned by the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission.

On Wednesday, police prosecutor Sergeant Matt Kahler told the court they were concerned about two witnesses in particular – Pisasale’s property lawyer and a friend.

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

He was forced to agree he would not approach worldwide departure points so that he could get bail on charges of extortion and two other counts involving the alleged assault of a woman.

“I’m confident the resilience of our dedicated workforce will continue to offer quality service to the people of Ipswich”.

After a 45-minute hearing, Pisasale was granted bail on the condition he stay away from worldwide departure points and not contact witnesses.

He is due to reappear in court on 17 July.

Mr Pisasale was one of the state’s most popular mayors until he resigned in his hospital pyjamas earlier this month citing health concerns, on the same day a separate CCC investigation into his affairs came to light.

“Many council staff have worked closely with Mr Pisasale over a number of years, and I can assure everyone that there are deep feelings of disappointment that their former mayor has been arrested”.

Under parliamentary privilege last week, independent state MP Rob Pyne levelled serious allegations of corruption and misconduct against Mr Pisasale and other senior Ipswich council members.

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