Barrister Sam Di Carlo has been fined for contempt of court. Picture: Tara Croser.
Barrister Sam Di Carlo has been fined for contempt of court. Picture: Tara Croser.

Pisasale should run again: lawyer

UPDATE: THE BARRISTER who claims he asked former Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale to carry $50,000 cash for a client said he had encouraged Mr Pisasale to renominate for the mayoral position.

Sam Di Carlo, speaking outside the Supreme Court after being fined for contempt of court, said allegations about Mr Pisasale came out at the weekend, "on the last day he could nominate".

Mr Pisasale resigned as mayor on June 6, after 13 years, citing ill health and two days after his home and office were raided by police.

The next day, Mr Di Carlo claimed $50,000 in cash found on Mr Pisasale by federal police at a Melbourne airport was for a settlement agreement for a Chinese client of his.

Mr Pissale was granted bail when he appeared in court on June 21, charged with extortion and two other offences relating to an alleged assault, all of which he plans to defend.

Mr Di Carlo today praised his friend, Mr Pisasale, for his work for Ipswich, saying he had encouraged him to run again for mayor.

"I think he should have gone out there and said 'I'm going to run because I still have passion, I still can do the job and when I get better I will be there and I will do the best I can and if I'm found guilty and if you people judge me, then I'm happy to follow your judgment because you're the people I've served and I've served well', " Mr Di Carlo said.

Ipswich mayoral nominations closed at noon on Tuesday.

At the weekend, Mr Pisasale's former council driver said he had told the Crime and Corruption Commission how he had allegedly driven the mayor to brothels and massage parlours.

Mr Di Carlo said today the last time he saw Mr Pisasale he was still unwell.

"I really think it's time they let him go," Mr Di Carlo said, saying he was referring to "the persistent digging up of stuff irrelevant" to his work with the council.

"Let the CCC deal with that.," he said.

"If there is something he's done wrong with respect to his work, then let them deal with that. "But this other stuff, about being here ... I just don't think it's Australian to kick a person while they're down.

"A lot of people are coming out and leaking information."

Mr Di Carlo said it had been stupid of him to ask Mr Pisasale to carry the $50,000, but said they had been friends for a long time.

"We've been many places. It just happens to be that way," Mr Di Carlo said.

Mr Di Carlo was today fined $4000 for a contemptuous remark he made to a magistrate.

While representing a client in a bail application last year, he said to Brisbane Magistrate John Costello: "That's why you don't do things according to law"

Chief Justice Catherine Holmes said in the Supreme Court today it was particularly reprehensible that the comments were made by a barrister with 26 years of experience.

"The significance of this contempt is that it was not just an unseemly insult to an individual judicial officer. It was an an affront to the court he represents," Justice Holmes said.

Outside court, Mr Di Carlo said the fine was fair punishment, he had crossed the line in his conduct, he had apologised and had conceded his comment was contemptuous.

"I misbehaved on this occasion," Mr Di Carlo said.

The Attorney-General last year asked the Supreme Court to "punish" Mr Di Carlo for contempt of court.

Justice Holmes said the court was a democratic institution, an arm of government and courts played a role in democracy and needed to be given the respect due to them in that capacity.

She said prior to making the comment to Mr Costello, Mr Di Carlo had been distinctly uncivil to the magistrate in a previous bail application for the same client.

Justice Holmes said in the past there had been a degree of animus towards this magistrate.

On the occasion of the contempt, Mr Di Carlo, had asked Mr Costello to stand aside from hearing the bail application.

After Mr Costello said he was adjourning the application until two days later, after a public holiday, there was an exchange and Mr Di Carlo said the words that amounted to contempt.

She said it implied that the magistrate did not apply the law according to his judicial oath.

Justice Holmes said while she acknowledged Mr Di Carlo was motivated by the perceived unfairness of his client being detained in custody, lawyers were obliged to behave with courtesy and respect.

Magistrate John Costello had written to the Attorney-General last year asking for her to consider prosecuting Mr Di Carlo for the comments.

The Chief Justice gave Mr Di Carlo three months to pay the fine.

EARLIER: THE barrister who claims he asked former Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale to carry $50,000 cash for a client, was today fined $4000 for a contemptuous remark he made to a magistrate.

Barrister Sam Di Carlo, while representing a client in a bail application last year, said to Brisbane Magistrate John Costello: "You don't do things according to law".

Chief Justice Catherine Holmes said in the Supreme Court today it was particularly reprehensible that the comments were made by a barrister with 26 years of experience.

"It was not just an unseemly insult to a judicial officer but an affront to the court he represents," Justice Holmes said.

Outside court, Mr Di Carlo said the fine was fair punishment, he had crossed the line in his conduct, he had apologised and had conceded his comment was contemptuous.

"I misbehaved on this occasion," Mr Di Carlo said.

The Attorney-General last year asked the Supreme Court to "punish" Mr Di Carlo for contempt of court.

Justice Holmes said the court was a democratic institution, an arm of government and courts played a role in democracy and needed to be given the respect due to them in that capacity.

She said prior to making the comment to Mr Costello, Mr Di Carlo had been distinctly uncivil to the magistrate in a previous bail application for the same client.

On the occasion of the contempt, Mr Di Carlo, had asked Mr Costello to stand aside from hearing the bail application.

After Mr Costello said he was adjourning the application until two days later, after a public holiday, there was an exchange and Mr Di Carlo said the words that amounted to contempt.

She said it implied that the magistrate did not apply the law according to his judicial oath.

Justice Holmes said while she acknowledged Mr Di Carlo was motivated by the perceived unfairness of his client being detained in custody, lawyers were obliged to behave with courtesy and respect.

Magistrate John Costello had written to the Attorney-General last year asking for her to consider prosecuting Mr Di Carlo for the comments.

The Chief Justice gave Mr Di Carlo three months to pay the fine.

In June, Mr Di Carlo claimed $50,000 in cash found on Mr Pisasale by federal police at a Melbourne airport was for a client of his.

The claim came a day after Mr Pisasale resigned as mayor after 13 years, citing ill health and two days after his home and office were raided by police.

Mr Pisasale was granted bail when he appeared in court on June 21, charged with extortion and two other offences relating to an alleged assault which he plans to defend.

Mr Di Carlo told The Courier-Mail the the money was for a settlement agreement for a Chinese client and that Mr Pisasale was acting as a friend by agreeing to carry it to Brisbane.

News Corp Australia


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