EXCLUSIVE: Pisasale's first big interview since resignation
THERE have been dark hours and lessons learned, but Paul Pisasale insists he intends to emerge from his lowest ebb and serve the Ipswich community once again.
It would be simplistic to state that when Mr Pisasale announced his resignation as Ipswich mayor on June 6 he lost the mojo that fired him when the mayoral robes were his.
But talk to him now in a health facility in Brisbane and you realise the man himself was lost well before his own personal descent into the political maelstrom.
In Japan there is a word called 'karoshi', meaning death by over work.
Mr Pisasale, who also suffers from multiple sclerosis (MS), concedes working too hard drove him to the precipice of death itself and he suffered a nervous breakdown.
In this interview with the QT the former mayor spoke of his his own private torment, his desire to get well and his love for the city of Ipswich that he served as a councillor and mayor for more than 20 years.
Mr Pisasale is facing a Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) investigation and has been charged with extortion and two other charges he will fight in court.
In the interview, Mr Pisasale made it clear that he could not discuss his response to those charges publicly.
But he did insist he would emerge from his current battles.
"Either I do that, or I die," Mr Pisasale said.
"Everybody has got to come through something.
"At the moment my highest priority is my health.
"Once I thought that 'men's health' (issues) were something I fundraised for and that somebody else got.
"But now I am realising that I am the worst offender.
"I now know what nervous breakdowns are.
"I deal with doctors every day. It is a lesson that I gave so much to Ipswich it affected my health and my family."
A sign that the old Mr Pisasale will one day be back in full swing came when he spoke about Ipswich and his desire to be back on board working for the community in some capacity.
"The only thing I say is that I love the people of Ipswich. The only mistake I made is that I pushed myself too hard," he said.
"Let it be a lesson that when you have MS and are working virtually seven days a week for an incredible amount of years you are not bullet-proof.
"You are bound to fall over and make bad decisions and that's what has happened to me. But as I try to get myself better, I will continue to love my city.
"When I get well I hope to be back on deck and helping Ipswich from a community point of view."
Mr Pisasale said he was an interested spectator from afar in what was unfolding in the city.
Acting Mayor Paul Tully has announced projects that Mr Pisasale worked towards while mayor.
Mr Pisasale said when he turned on the TV news and read the QT that he had a great sense of pride and achievement
"While working seven days a week has affected me greatly I enjoy seeing the results of it," he said.
"I turn the news on and I see the 10-year (sponsorship) contract for Supercars, the Lions and Costco coming. I see everything happening after all the work I put in.
"There are many more good projects to come. Ipswich will do well. But it is not about the council. It is about having pride in your city and keeping on working hard."
Mr Pisasale is being supported by his brother Cr Charlie Pisasale and family.
Cr Pisasale, in an extended interview with the QT earlier this month, said he would continue to be a rock by his brother's side.
"All I am interested in is his health and the impact on the families involved," he said.
"But let's hope he can come through it because, with his MS on top of all this, he has got a lot of issues to sort out."