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Inside Vegas - Steve Miller

Steve Miller is a former Las Vegas City Councilman. In 1991, the readers of the Las Vegas Review Journal voted him the "Most Effective Public Official" in Southern Nevada. Visit his website at:

Mutiny at the Crazy Horse Too
What a difference four years can make!
INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
November 20, 2006

                           9 PM Friday, Nov. 15, 2002
                                                   ( photo by Mike Christ)

                           9 PM Friday, Nov. 16, 2006
                                                   ( photo by Mike Christ)

LAS VEGAS - Following Crazy Horse Too founder Rick Rizzolo's conviction for tax evasion and racketeering, a suspected straw man was muscled through a cursory licensing process at City Hall.

The violence plagued topless bar was allowed to re-open on a temporary six month basis so it can purportedly be sold to pay back taxes and fines, along with paying damages to, and the legal fees of a man whose neck was broken by a bar bouncer in 2001. However, business is not the same as it once was, nor are the former employees happy knowing their once-boss may only have to spend a few months in Federal Prison after his Dec. 6 sentencing because of their less-than-voluntary cooperation. More on this later.

In the bloody old days, many unscrupulous Crazy Horse Too dancers extorted customers by inflating their credit card tabs. The club once had over 200 independent contractor strippers -- many who paid bouncers to threaten or beat up customers who balked at paying thousands of dollars in bogus charges for lap dances and liquor. Many Crazy Horse customers complained they were drugged before being forced to sign and thumb print credit card slips.

After Rizzolo's conviction along with the lawyer-coerced guilty pleas of 16 of his goons, these facts were revealed in media reports. Hence, the drastic drop in business and abundance of hard feelings toward Rizzolo from his former employees whom he had ostensibly provided free defense attorney services.

Back in 2002, several complaints were filed with the Las Vegas Fire Department saying valets at the topless bar were blocking Fire Exits with cars they couldn't find on-site parking spaces for. Later it was discovered the same valets were using a Fire Lane for additional parking. The business was going that well in spite of its' illicit method of operation.

LVFD officials refused to respond to the complaints - probably based on political pressure from the tenth floor of City Hall where Mayor Oscar Goodman was formerly Rizzolo's criminal defense attorney and still has financial ties to his business through his law partner David Chesnoff who represents other Crazy Horse clients.

           Valet-parked-cars block Fire Lane - Aug. 2002
                                              ( photo by Mike Christ)

Four years later, the Crazy Horse has plenty of parking and doesn't need to violate local and state parking laws because their business has dropped to a trickle of what it once was. However, old habits die hard.

Valet cones off Handicapped Parking space after telling disabled man to move.
Note Handicapped parking sign on post, and wheelchair emblem under cones. 
( photo by Mike Christ)

Last Friday, Don DiCarlo needed to get his car repaired, so he visited his long-time friend Buffalo Jim Barrier at his garage located next to the Crazy Horse Too.

After being told he could not park in a posted Handicapped Parking space in the common area shared by the two businesses, DiCarlo signed a notarized affidavit stating:

On Friday November 16, at 6:25 PM, I tried to pull into the handicapped parking space in front of the Crazy Horse Too when the valet refused to let me park after I questioned him about the 'Handicap' sign there. He refused to let me park after I tried to explain about the sign which I have used many times coming to Allstate Auto Repair. He stated to me the space was not available at night and said it became a valet space at night. I have heart disease for several years and the valet walked away from me when I tried to explain my condition. I had to park a half block away."

Based on my past experience as a volunteer for Nevada's two biggest charities dealing with handicapped persons, Barrier phoned to tell me of the sad situation.

I had the honor of authoring and sponsoring the City and State Handicapped Parking ordinances. I fully know the needs of disabled drivers, so I was appalled at what I heard. I summoned photographer Mike Christ to record the event so the City Attorney and attorneys for the Americans with Disabilities Act (A.D.A.) could be notified.

If Mr. DiCarlo wishes to take action in Federal Court based on this clear violation of the A.D.A. and his civil rights, the above photo will be all the evidence he needs.

But that's not all that troubles me about the reincarnated Crazy Horse Too.

After its' new owner Mike Signorelli promised the City Council that crimes that had previously occurred would cease, Thursday Nov. 9 at 10 AM, a grossly intoxicated or drugged patron was observed staggering out of the bar's front entrance toward his parked car.
The man in his early 50's staggered toward the CH2 parking area under the Sahara overpass, but before reaching his vehicle, fell to the ground unconscious.
Employees of Allstate Auto called 911, and the man who could not be fully revived was transported to UMC.
In past years, numerous complaints were filed with STOP DUI, the City, and Metro Police regarding CH2 management and employees ignoring Alcohol Awareness (TIPS) laws designed to keep intoxicated persons from driving.
No local public agency ever reacted.
The unidentified man in these photos taken by Buffalo Jim Barrier was about to drive away from the bar. The CH2 is located adjacent to a low income neighborhood filled with small children. Intoxicated CH2 patrons have often been observed speeding through this neighborhood.

Witnesses state that in the past when they called 911 to report DUI's coming out of the bar's parking lot, they were told to call "Crazy Horse Security" instead, with no further action taken.

It's suspected that a top Metro official once ordered all calls relating to the Crazy Horse be referred to him before units were dispatched.
Also, a number of patrons have reported that they were drugged, possibly with GHB (the date rape drug), then forced to sign the hugely inflated credit card tabs. Several ended up in the E. R. for drug or alcohol overdoses after attending the club.

GHB cannot be detected in blood or hair follicle samples, so its the perfect "Mickey Finn."

Then there was this:

At 9:15 PM, Saturday November 4, a wooden pallet was placed against the wall separating the Crazy Horse from Allstate Auto. The pallet was clearly visible to CH2 security officers who patrol the parking lot.
It's suspected that the pallet was used as a ladder to access the roof of the building that houses the two businesses because an evaporative cooler was removed from the roof of Allstate, and someone gained entrance into the garage.
Motion sensors alerted ADT Security who notified Barrier. He immediately called a nearby business owner and asked him to drive by and take a look. The business owner reported that several Crazy Horse bouncers were standing in front of Barrier's business, but there was no one visible inside.
When Barrier arrived several minutes later he discovered the opening in the roof, however no one was present and nothing had been stolen or disturbed.
Barrier speculates that someone broke in to look for information, photos, plant contraband, or install listening devices.
Barrier has a multi-million dollar harassment lawsuit pending against his landlord Rick Rizzolo who for several years has been trying to force Barrier to move without compensation. Barrier has also been monitoring the operation of the topless bar and photographs infractions of conditions placed upon the business by the Federal Court or City Council, something that has infuriated his Mob neighbors and their friends at City Hall.
Since the bar reopened, Barrier photographed barred persons, and the man who passed out trying to walk to his car. Barrier's evidence of barred persons on the property caused the Las Vegas City Council on Nov. 1 to call an emergency hearing and remind the bar's new owner to prohibit Rizzolo family members or the 16 convicted felons from entering the business -- conditions that were the basis of granting the temporary license.
After the break in, Barrier said he was forced to install high tech surveillance equipment that records any movement inside and outside the business 24 hours per day. In the event another break in occurs, he hopes to provide police and the court with photos of the intruders. In the meantime, he had his business scanned for listening devices, and is searching for illegal objects or substances that may have been planted there.

Within the next week, the former pro wrestler says he'll link his TV cameras to the Internet so anyone can monitor his business 24/7. He has also placed hidden cameras outside his garage that are directed toward the Crazy Horse parking lot where many beatings and other crimes have occurred.

When his "BufCams" are up and running, I'll provide a link so my readers can watch the goings on at the little garage that fearlessly stands up to the Vegas Mob.

Barrier's relentless crusade to stop the extortion and mayhem has earned him the title of Las Vegas' Most Colorful Character from the readers of the Review-Journal. He also says his business has never been better based on all the free publicity.

In the meantime,
a reliable source inside the Crazy Horse reports Rick Rizzolo has not stepped foot on his own property; that Mike Signorelli is "running the place into the ground;" and "nobody's making any money."
He also said the 16 employees who say Rizzolo "rolled on them" are preparing a lawsuit against him -- this time through their own attorneys.
Another source in the club expects Rizzolo to foreclose on Signorelli soon because he's not paying the agreed upon $14,000 per day rent. My source also referred to Signorelli as a "moron" who sleeps in the back office most of the time while employees "rob the place blind."

One CH2 employee told me, "Right now I'm not making any money. I stay there to keep my health insurance and collect my small pay check each week."

However, Signorelli in 2000 was sued for allegedly "looting" his employee's health insurance premiums at a casino he
bankrupted in Mesquite, Nevada. The Mesquite Star Casino was later turned around by Randy Black and today operates at a profit, thereby lending credence to those who accuse Signorelli of lacking business skills.
Bobby DiApiece, the CH2 bouncer who broke the neck of Kansas tourist Kirk Henry, was observed inside the club within the past week. DiApiece was convicted of several felonies and is not allowed on the property -- another violation of Federal Court and City Council orders -- but Mike Signorelli evidently didn't know he was there, or didn't care.
Several of the 16 former employees have reportedly threatened to beat up Rick Rizzolo if they see him. Many still have connections inside the club and will know of his presence. They certainly know their craft based on the years of beatings they rendered on innocent tourists, so he must be very concerned to be staying away from his own building.

My source also tells me that the 16 former employees feel they were duped by Rizzolo's attorney Tony Sgro into plea bargaining
so Rizzolo could get off with a lighter sentence.

This, in total contrast to a description I was given in 2004 by someone who entered Rizzolo's inner sanctum:

"If the guest is fortunate enough to be invited to escort his host around the topless club the first time of the night, when he enters the room, he can witness every single floor man he comes in contact with, come up to the boss and respectfully kiss his cheek. If you wanted to be a soldier for this leader, what would you do when some customer has the nerve to refuse to pay tribute to your leader's sanctuary or one of his 'broads?' I'm only surprised that they don't wear spats with their tuxedos and brass knuckles."
Now these same floor men -- men who once kissed Rizzolo's cheek -- may want to seek revenge against him.

Keep in mind that Rizzolo was convicted for the first time, and most of the 16 men are two and three time losers.
All 16 are currently awaiting sentencing -- may face longer terms than Rizzolo -- and could meet up with their ex-boss in Federal Prison around the first of the year.

Some of the 16 are reportedly having second and third thoughts about having plea bargained after being convinced to do so by Rizzolo's loyal attorney Tony Sgro. Many feel Sgro tricked them into signing so his biggest client could get off.

The Crazy Horse Too temporary liquor license comes before the City Council for its' 90 day review on January 3. Information regarding violations of the City's rulings will be made available to all Council members prior to the hearing.

Signorelli's six month temporary license will automatically expire on April 4.

City Attorney Brad Jerbic on Nov. 1, told Councilman Steve Ross that an elected official would have to personally schedule an item on the April 4 Council Agenda to discuss the granting of a permanent liquor license to Mike Signorelli. But I doubt any Council member would want to attach their name to such a request after learning of all the infractions Signorelli is committing, and how closely this case is being watched by Federal Organized Crime authorities.

It's not known whether Rizzolo's man at City Hall -- Business License Director Jim DiFiore -- has the legal authority to personally place such an item on the agenda. If he does, it will be in direct contradiction to the opinion given Councilman Ross by the City Attorney, and may inspire even more Federal scrutiny of City Hall.

this "public nuisance" and "threat to the community" is ended once and for all, INSIDE VEGAS columns, and Steve Miller Insider E-Briefs on this subject, will be made available to all concerned at City Hall, the FBI, and Federal Court. Meanwhile, Jim Barrier pledges to continue his 24 hour vigilance and reports.

Copyright © Steve Miller

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