INSIDE STORY: Pisasale resigns as the CCC comes knocking
WHEN the defiant mayor shuffled to a private room within the halls of St Andrew's Private Hospital, he knew Crime and Corruption Commission detectives were circling.
Behind the purposeful symbol of bright red socks was an internal battle of a zealous mayor cut down by the effects of multiple sclerosis, and something bigger.
With a wry smile, Paul Pisasale dismissed questions about his resignation having any link to the Crime and Corruption Commission.
"The CCC that, as you know over the years I've co-operated wholeheartedly with, the CCC and I intend to continue to do that," he told journalists.
By now, the commission had dedicated officers probing the inner workings of the city council Pisasale led for more than a decade.
Detectives had visited the Ipswich City Council chambers that afternoon to collect evidence.
Extortion charges, which Pisasale has now been found guilty of, had not been laid.
While investigators went about their jobs under a veil of secrecy, community leaders and residents were paying tribute to the mayor they felt had put Ipswich on the map.
"There's one thing I'm happy to say, the journey of Ipswich has just started," Pisasale told the media conference on the day of his resignation.
He was right, in a sense.
For the next two years, Crime and Corruption Commission investigators would litter criminal charges throughout the halls of the council.
Despite the public face, Pisasale's private life was an enigma.
Investigators were looking long before the mayor checked in to St Andrew's Private Hospital.
Pisasale, the son of Italian migrants, said his health and age meant it was time for him to step down.
In an attempt to comfort the community, he promised to still be lingering in the background of community organisations and attending events.
During his 13 years as mayor, Pisasale's spirited zest for the role made him a renowned face across the nation, undoubtedly Australia's favourite mayor.
But just like that, within two weeks, he was gone.