Until late last week, no evil deed
un-rewarded in the new Las Vegas
These pictures tell it all. Follow the...$$$...trail
INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
April 5, 2004
"I'm going to run the city the way I want to run the
city." "I will not let anyone tell me how to run the city." --
Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, April 2, 2004
"Conceptual Alignment Schematic" courtesy of City of Las Vegas Department
of Public Works)
The Bell Transportation Company (BellTrans), 1900
Industrial Rd., generates thousands of cab, bus, trolley, and limousine
movements per day, but they will not receive any engress/egress safety
enhancements at tax payer's expense. Unlike their neighbor who is receiving
the city's largesse, BellTrans apparently does not qualify for city help
possibly because they have no record of beatings,
violations of alcohol
awareness laws, credit card coercion,
corruption -- "qualities" that lately seem to be a prerequisite for
governmental favors. BellTrans is also not a potential client for a certain
hungry law firm, another apparent prerequisite for special treatment.
Just 0.4 Miles south on Industrial
Rd., its a different story:
(02/03/03 "Conceptual Alignment
Schematic" courtesy of City of Las Vegas Department of Public Works
Annotations added by author)
Four blocks away, there's a topless bar at 2476
Industrial Rd. that apparently possesses the prerequisite "qualities" to
get a slew of custom designed engress/egress convenience enhancements
at taxpayer's expense. Amenities including: (A) An extra wide driveway
& sidewalk, (B) Double turn lanes with an extra wide
median to access West Sahara Ave., (C) An exclusive-use signalized
turn lane leading only
into the bar, (D)
A single turn lane
to access East Sahara Ave., and the ultimate favor, the potential
of eminent domain to remove a pesky
Because the two Alignment Schematics shown
above have remained unchanged since their public release in February 2003,
it appears as though some badgered public works draftsman was told by a
higher up at city hall that the safety and convenience of patrons of a
influential topless bar is a higher priority than the safety and convenience
of hundreds of bus, trolley, limo, and cab drivers who will have to face
three lanes of speeding oncoming traffic to access their law-abiding
workplace just four blocks down the road!
After 4 years of doing favors,
the shit finally hit the fan...
(Las Vegas Review Journal
FRONT PAGE photo by Cariño Casas)
(AmericanMafia photo by Steve Miller)
Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman
Robert Rose, complainant
On Saturday April 3, the Las
Vegas Review Journal depicted a furious Las Vegas Mayor
Oscar Goodman on the front page blasting the Nevada Ethics Commission and
Robert Rose, the 77 year old retired auto mechanic who had the temerity
to file a second ethics complaint against him. Goodman was quoted
saying the commission had an ulterior motive in finding probable cause
that he violated state ethics laws by doing favors for his sons. "If
there's anything wrong with that, I'm going to keep on doing it, and I'll
have my face in their face as long as I'm the mayor of the city of Las
Vegas," Goodman scowled!
The mayor did not elaborate on what the commission's
alleged ulterior motive was, but it's speculated he may have been about
to announce a run for Nevada governor in the upcoming November election,
but the timing of the ethics complaint threw a monkey wrench in the works
prompting Jim Ferrence, one of Goodman's campaign managers, to say they
are treating the complaint as an election issue. "It is a baseless complaint
written in gibberish by a total moron who has never filed a complaint that
wasn't campaign related," stated Ferrence.
Rose calmly responded to Goodman and Ferrence's
fury: "If he would have just read these ethics laws, he wouldn'd have
gotten into trouble. He is a lawyer after all."
In June of 2003, Goodman ran unopposed for a second
term while a mob connected friend raised over $1.5 million in unneeded
campaign contributions -- possibly to finance the now-deflated gubernatorial
run -- or to possibly grease the skids for an eminent domain taking to
aid in the expansion of the trouble plagued topless bar. Either way, many
believe the un-timeliness of the ethics complaint is the main reason for
the anger expressed by Goodman and Ferrence toward Rose, not the complaint
On last Friday evening's KLAS TV Channel 8
lead story, Goodman, in an emotional rant, blamed his ethical
problems on Rose, referring to him as "envious, jealous little people
who are motivated as a result of journalists who are trying to make a name
on my bones." (Streaming
Rose laughed at the criticism which further infuriated
the already flustered mayor and his supporters.
Goodman did not identify the journalists by name,
but its speculated he was referring to Jon
Ralston and Sito Negron at the SUN, and Erin Neff and Michael
Squires at the Review Journal.
If the mayor is found guilty of multiple ethics
violations, it could lead to a District Court proceeding to determine whether
he should be removed from office.
One of Goodman's colleagues, Councilwoman Janet
Moncrief, is also facing possible removal from office. Within hours following
her June 2003 election, Moncrief, at the mayor's insistence, aligned herself
with the same political fund raiser who collected the $1.5 million. This
alliance" inspired several of her former campaign supporters, including
myself, to file election fraud complaints with the Nevada Secretary of
State. On Feb.12, Moncrief was served notice
that the state intends to seek an indictment against her for falsifying
campaign contribution and expense reports, a felony. Since then, she has
been unavailable for comment on the subject.
Goodman and his fund raiser Tom Letizia
This is the second ethics complaint Rose has filed
against Goodman. The first
complaint was for Goodman voting to license Albert Rapuano, a former
client who was approved in 2002 to be a key employee at the troubled
topless bar. Goodman voted to grant the license despite the advice of Nevada
Gaming Control Board chief of investigations Randall
Sayre who testified at the hearing that Rapuano maintains close ties
with organized crime figures. The ethics board did not find probable cause
to take jurisdiction in this case however, and Goodman was excused, but
not before he took the opportunity to blast Rose at a press conference
on the steps of city hall..
(AmericanMafia photo by
Last January, when he heard that Robert Rose had
filed a second ethics complaint against him, this time for using his mayoral
title to promote his son's business, Goodman said: "And if anybody tells
me I canít help my son who I love, they can drop dead!"
During happier times...
(Las Vegas SUN photo)
Patti and Goodman
Topless bar attorney Dean
Patti and Mayor Goodman speak in favor of an ordinance
to allow expansion of a certain city
assisted adult business, and permit teenage
strippers to work there. When criticized for his actions, Goodman responded,
"There's no prostitution taking place, and if there was, they should
arrest them, not make some big fuss as to what some 18-year-old girl is
doing to make a living." "I think anything that's legal should be here."
(Las Vegas SUN editorial cartoon by Mike Smith)
(Courtesy of KVBC TV)
Before being elected in 1999, Oscar Goodman was
the defense attorney for Tony "The Ant" Spilotro whom Goodman described
as an innocent, misunderstood businessman. At the same time, Goodman said
he'd rather have his daughter date Spilotro than an FBI agent. Goodman
was also known for saying, "There is no mob," and his later actions
as mayor substantiate his belief.
(Courtesy of KVBC TV)
Cusumano and Goodman
Goodman represented Spilotro lieutenant Joey
Cusumano, a suspected hidden owner of the troubled topless bar on Industrial
Rd. Cusumano is listed in Nevada's Black
Book of persons excluded from entering casinos, but was recently spotted
at the mayor's home attending a social gathering. Goodman was also criticized
for receiving at City Hall another Black Book member, Charles "The Moose"
Panarella, and Vincent "Vinnie Ocean" Palermo, acting boss of the DeCavalcante
crime family. Panarella has been identified as a member of the Colombo
organized crime family.
According to a Las
Vegas SUN story, Palermo is the owner of a strip club called Wiggles
in Queens, New York. Palermo wanted to open a gentleman's club in an area
of Las Vegas that was not zoned for adult businesses. FBI tapes quoted
in the SUN state that Goodman told Palermo before he was elected
mayor that, if elected, he would help him with the zoning issue. Palermo
told the FBI that he subsequently sent Goodman a campaign contribution
of $10,000 through a third party.
The reporter who first identified Panarella visiting
Goodman on the tenth floor of City Hall stated that the mayor threatened
him, saying that if he continued writing about his visitors, he would be
banned from the building.
(Las Vegas Tribune editorial cartoon by Dave Addis)
(Las Vegas Review Journal editorial cartoon by Jim Day)
(From the Janet
Moncrief for City Council campaign)
The "Two faces of Oscar:"
(left) Oscar the mob attorney. (right) Mayor Oscar doing
favors for his former, and his kid's future clients.
(Las Vegas Review Journal photo by
On Feb. 20, 2003, the topless bar owned by friends
of the mayor was raided
by the FBI and IRS.
(AmericanMafia photo by Mike Christ)
Goodman and Miller
On Feb. 21, 2003, the day after the raid, Mayor
Goodman visited author's home to say he will not bring the topless bar
up on a license
revocation action after a murder,
and the raid
by federal authorities.
In 2003, the mayor's sons, Eric and Ross
Goodman - fresh out of law school, took over their father's criminal
law practice. Evidently, they haven't been doing too well. This inspired
their father to violate
state ethics laws to give them a hand. When questioned by the Las
Vegas SUN about his ethical transgression, Goodman replied, "I'm
going to run the city the way I want to run the city," he said. "I
will not let anyone tell me how to run the city." "I would do it again!"
According to two prominent Las Vegas lawyers and a Clark County law
enforcement official, raided topless bar owner Rick
Rizzolo asked Goodman to defend
him in the probability he's indicted for racketeering and political corruption.
Because it would be a blatant conflict of interest, Goodman must personally
decline such an offer, but his sons can take the case and charge exorbitant
fees while the mayor coaches them from the wings to make it worth the price.
Win or lose (odds are they'll lose), Eric and Ross stand to make personal
fortunes by following in their dad's footsteps defending potential criminal
defense clients like Rizzolo and his associates. With Oscar's ongoing mob
connections (and his secret coaching), how can they go wrong?
In the meantime, every favor Mayor Goodman can
bestow on his kid's first potential criminal client is allegedly being
offered at public expense. Favors including an exclusive-use signalized
turn lane leading only into the potential client's topless bar along with
an extra wide driveway and sidewalk. An ordinance
allowing the potential client to expand within 1000 feet of competition
and to allow teenage strippers to be employed. The ignoring of over 737
police responses in a three year period including nine for assault
and six for robberies involving the potential client's employees. Ignoring
numerous calls for liquor license revocation, and the possible future use
domain to remove the pesky neighbor, are all allegedly being offered
in his package of paybacks
to inspire business for his sons, and to allegedly reciprocate for past
business from before he was elected mayor.
As I mentioned earlier in this article, last year Oscar Goodman ran
unopposed for his second term while a
friend of his raised over $1.5 million in unneeded campaign donations.
The donations were raised by a man who has a highly placed relative
in the Nevada Department of Transportation, an agency that will be asked
to assist if eminent domain condemnation is needed to make way for enhancements
to benefit the trouble plagued topless bar -- a bar that employs an advertising
agency owned by the same friend who raised the $1.5 million in unneeded
campaign donations for Goodman and over $100,000 for Goodman's embattled
colleague Janet Moncrief. The same advertising agency is being paid to
defend Rick Rizzolo's public image.* Rizzolo is also a former Goodman client.
Mayor Goodman will face off with the Ethics Commissioners on May
12, 2004. Notwithstanding his sometimes nefarious and incestuous
business relationships, Oscar Goodman continues to enjoy being the second
most popular mayor in the history of Las Vegas. Goodman
and his unexplainable popularity may be the best reason they
keep calling this place "Sin City?"
The author is a former Clark County Regional Transportation Commissioner.
Steve Miller was the author and sponsor of the original City of Las
Vegas Ethics in Government Law.
* The author is a consultant in a civil lawsuit involving Rick Rizzolo.
* If you would like to receive Steve's frequent E-Briefs about Las Vegas'
scandals, click here: mailto:SteveMiller4lv@aol.com?Subject=Add
Copyright © Steve Miller
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