REVEALED: Qld businessman paying Pisasale's court costs
FORMER Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale has had some legal bills paid by a veteran businessman with long and occasionally controversial ties to the fallen politician.
Facing charges ranging from corruption to illegal possession of a sex drug, Pisasale is said by friends to be struggling personally and financially.
One friend who has given some financial support for legal bills is Queensland entrepreneur Lev Mizikovsky, founder of successful homebuilding outfit Tamawood and whose private company also own dozens of properties in Ipswich.
"Yeah, I did help him a bit," Mr Mizikovsky told The Courier-Mail.
The support was solely because Pisasale was a friend, he said. "I think he's a great bloke. Done amazing things for Ipswich," the blunt-talking businessman said.
Mr Mizikovsky said before Pisasale arrived on the political scene, Ipswich had been troubled. "He cleaned it all up, and he got a lot of businesses in," he said.
Mr Mizikovsky also maintained all his dealings with Pisasale had been appropriate. "I haven't been interviewed by anyone other than yourself … I'm 100 per cent clear in my mind that (he's) never, ever done anything for me," Mr Mizikovsky said.
Mr Mizikovsky owned 30 per cent of Perth-based sunscreen maker Antaria when it gave then mayor Pisasale an $80,000 a year job as a director. It is extremely rare for a serving politician to concurrently work on the board of a stockmarket-listed company.
Antaria, Mr Mizikovsky and Pisasale rejected any conflict of interest. Pisasale, citing his political workload, resigned from the company months after The Courier-Mail detailed the arrangement in 2015.
The Courier-Mail that year also revealed Pisasale had phoned a Scenic Rim mayor to ask about a tourism project of Mr Mizikovsky's, although the businessman said it was just about clarifying an apparent application holdup and did not constitute a favour from the then Ipswich mayor.
Pisasale was charged with unrelated offences in 2017 following a Crime and Corruption Commission investigation, and has indicated he will defend the matters. He has hired highly regarded criminal lawyer Glen Cranny.
Mr Mizikovsky declined to specify the amount or timing of his financial support. "It's a private matter between two private individuals," he said.
But he argued the cost was far less than he had spent on another civil dispute in Brisbane's District Court.
Mr Mizikovsky said Pisasale nowadays had little financially with items including "a 40-year-old broken-down car".
The businessman also criticised some charges against Pisasale, such as for possessing a sex drug without a required prescription, or a fraud charge related to a bottle of whiskey. "It's all getting a bit absurd isn't it?" he said.
Attempts to obtain comment from Pisasale were unsuccessful.