Mayor ditches official robes after predecessor's sex attack
IPSWICH mayor Teresa Harding has not worn the city's mayoral robes since learning they were involved in a sexual assault perpetrated by disgraced former mayor Paul Pisasale.
In September last year, Pisasale was sentenced to a seven-and-a-half year jail term for sexual assault, fraud and official corruption crimes.
The sexual assault charges related to an incident with a young woman, then aged 23, in Ipswich City Council offices in December 2016.
The woman, who Pisasale had only met the day before, was invited to his office, where he forcibly kissed her and "forced his tongue inside her mouth" despite her resisting.
The court heard Pisasale had the woman put on his mayoral robes and took photos of her before taking her to another room where he again kissed her and forced his tongue inside her mouth.
The mayor of 13 years then put his hand inside her shirt, lifted her shirt and fondled her breasts while trying to kiss her.
The QT understands Cr Harding has not worn the robes once since these details came to light.
Cr Harding, who is Ipswich's first female mayor, was sworn in as the city's 51st mayor in April.
She did not wear the robes at a citizenship ceremony in November last year, instead just wearing the mayoral chains.
It is understood she won't wear the robes at the event held on Australia Day next week.
Cr Harding declined to comment on her decision not to don the robes.
This decision could lead to the red robes with fur being ditched altogether and an entirely new unisex design being adopted.
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