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Controversial book details CCC probe into the council

Bernie Dowling has written about about the CCC investigation and subsequent hearings which saw former mayor Paul Pisasale charged among others.
Bernie Dowling has written about about the CCC investigation and subsequent hearings which saw former mayor Paul Pisasale charged among others.

LAST year's Crime and Corruption Commission investigations into four Queensland councils, including Ipswich, which saw former mayor Paul Pisasale charged along with two other council executives is the focus of a new book.

Author Bernie Dowling wrote Maaate! Bribe-proofing the public purse against good blokes, in about three months after finishing up as a reporter for the Pine Rivers Press.

Mr Dowling, who worked for Pine Rivers Press for 17 years, was personally involved in the CCC investigations.

"A colleague and I were named and mentioned in the CCC (public) hearing," he said.

That was related to questions about Moreton Futures Trust, which Mr Dowling was investigating for a story.

From there he followed the investigations and now has published the book which is being launched on Friday.

Ipswich City Council was left reeling after the CCC investigations.

Former-Mayor Paul Pisasale resigned in June last year as the investigations and raids on council started and later was charged with fraud, misconduct in public office and official corruption.

Criminal charges followed including perjury and possession of restricted drugs which he has indicated he intends to vigorously defend.

The former deputy mayor Paul Tully was also investigated, but walked away without charges.

Along with Cr Pisasale, ex-CEO Jim Lindsay and Former Ipswich City Council Chief Operating Officer of works, parks and recreation Craig Maudsley were also charged by the Crime and Corruption Commission as well as council contractor Wayne Francis Innes and all are defending against the charges.

The CCC investigation also saw former Ipswich CEO Carl Wulff and his wife charged with official corruption and they will also defend the charges.

Mr Dowling's book touches on how the former CEO was under investigation before he quit in 2013 then ended up at Liverpool City Council in Sydney before resigning there amid an asbestos contamination controversy and then ended up back in Ipswich handing out how to vote cards for new mayor Andrew Antoniolli.

In the book he has abridged some of the more lively discussions at the hearings featuring the former mayor and deputy mayor.

In particular, he recounts how Cr Tully tried to explain to the CCC about two bank accounts being used for donations, one was a dedicated account and one was not.

Mr Dowling said his book details how the CCC found Cr Tully's operation of a dedicated bank account was in breach of the LGE Act.

The CCC didn't refer him to the ECQ for prosecution because the date of the breach was more than 12 months old and the legislation only allowed a 12 month time limit to start prosecutions and because the breach was "systemic in nature".

Dowling notes that Cr Pisasale and Cr Tully were members of the Labor party and were investigated to see if they had worked as a group, which wasn't declared.

"Ipswich was the epicentre of the whole enquiry," he said.

"There's some fascinating court cases coming up.

"The CCC hearing had a lot of twists and turns."

He was happy to be the first to finish a book on the hearings but didn't think he would be the last.

He has used some pseudonyms in the book to protect himself from legal action.

Moreton Bay, Ipswich, Logan, and the Gold Coast were the four councils subject to the CCC investigation.

The book was launched by Brisbane City Councillor Jonathan Sri on Friday in South Brisbane, Mr Dowling will be signing copies today at Dymocks North Lakes from 10.30-12.30pm.

Cr Pisasle's next court date is December 11.


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