Mayor Paul Pisasale has defended the decision to appoint his wife as his driver.
Mayor Paul Pisasale has defended the decision to appoint his wife as his driver. Rob Williams

Pisasale says former CEO suggested wife as chauffeur

MAYOR Paul Pisasale has defended the employment of his wife as his chauffeur, saying he needed a driver to assist him as a sufferer of multiple sclerosis.

He also went further to suggest the Mayoress Janet Pisasale could have been paid mileage but had not made a claim and had "saved the city thousands" in filling the role at short notice.

"Janet also is entitled to mileage and for the last 12 years, guess how much she has claimed? Nothing, so stop ... why is this such a big issue now?" Cr Pisasale said.

The ABC reported (this morning) Mrs Pisasale was paid $14,000 for work as a casual administrative assistant between September 2013 and August 2014.

The role was a casual, 20 hours a week position. Cr Pisasale said the duties were primarily chauffeur, diary management and a "bit of work at home".

"Late at night and on weekends to help me out with my MS. And she did it because she cared about me," Cr Pisasale said.

"Janet doesn't go to the functions. I can't tell Janet to come at 11 o'clock at night and pick me up because I go to many, many functions. That is not the job of a wife, to do that.

"It would be different if she came with me to a normal function that she was invited to, no problem. That was not part of the deal.

"This was if I had to go to a meeting in Brisbane at night-time or anything like that, she would take the time to actually drop everything and do that job for council."

"Janet accepted it on the grounds that it would only be for a short period."

Cr Pisasale said his wife was appointed as a short-term replacement for an existing role at the suggestion of the then CEO Carl Wulff.

"I put in so many hours, seven days a week," Cr Pisasale said. "With the MS it does get you late at night. I'm managing it OK and I do a lot of things to help people with MS.

"Late at night you lose energy and you lose your capacity to drive. It is just dangerous. The CEO said this is ridiculous, because I nearly had an accident."